The Executive Superannuation Fund
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Most people can choose their own superannuation fund. However, you might not have this option if you are a member of certain defined benefit funds or covered by certain industrial agreements. If you don’t choose a superannuation fund, your employer will choose one for you.
Superannuation is money set aside for your retirement. This money is automatically paid into your superannuation fund by your employer.
Ethical investment funds limit themselves to making ‘ethical’ investments (which each fund defines according to its own principles). For example, ethical funds might avoid investing in companies or industries that are linked to human suffering or environmental damage.
A superannuation fund is an institution that is legally allowed to hold and invest your superannuation. There are more than 200 different superannuation funds in Australia. They come in five different types:
- Retail funds
- Industry funds
- Public sector funds
- Corporate funds
- Self-managed super funds
Retail funds are usually run by banks or investment companies.
Industry funds were originally designed for workers from a particular industry, but are now open to anyone.
Public sector funds were originally designed for people working for federal or state government departments. Most are still reserved for government employees.
Corporate funds are arranged by employers for their employees.
Self-managed super funds are private superannuation funds that allow people to directly invest their money.
There is an annual limit of $25,000 for concessional contributions – that is, money paid by your employer and extra money you pay into your account through salary sacrificing. There is also a limit on non-concessional contributions. Australians aged between 65 and 74 have a limit of $100,000 per year. Australians aged under 65 have a limit of $300,000 every three years.
MySuper accounts are basic, low-fee accounts. If you don’t nominate a superannuation fund, your employer must choose one for you that offers a MySuper account.
MySuper accounts offer two investment options:
- Single diversified investment strategy
Your fund assigns you a risk strategy and investment profile, which remain unchanged throughout your working life.
- Lifecycle investment strategy
Your fund assigns you an investment strategy based on your age, and then changes it as you get older. Younger workers are given strategies that emphasise growth assets
You can keep your superannuation fund for as long as you like, so nothing happens when you change jobs. Please note that some superannuation funds have special features for people who work with certain employers, so these features may no longer be available if you change jobs.
Some superannuation funds will allow you to transfer your insurance cover, without interruption, if you switch. However, others won’t. So it’s important you check before changing funds.