Net benefit and why it's important to your super

Net benefit is the number that really matters when it comes to assessing how your fund is performing. Strong long-term returns and a growing balance are important – but it’s net benefit that shows the true value of your fund.

Your super fund’s main job is to contribute to the growth of your retirement savings by delivering you returns on the money you put into your super. You do your bit – your money goes in, and a good fund does its bit – investing that money with skill and focus. The combined result should be a growing balance over the course of your working life and in retirement.  

That’s the investment part. Then there’s the fees – what your fund charges to manage and invest your money.

Industry Super Funds are run for members’ benefit, so fees are kept low. Retail funds often charge much higher fees as they have a responsibility to their shareholders and a focus on profit.


What is net benefit and how is it calculated?

In relation to your super, net benefit is: the investment return delivered to you by your super fund minus the admin fees, investment fees and taxes charged by your fund.

When you’re comparing the performance of super funds or checking that your fund is delivering on your investments, it’s the net benefit that really matters.

To calculate your net benefit you need to know your investment earnings for the year and the fees you paid for the year. For AustralianSuper members, the charts below give the net benefit over 5, 10 and 15 years.

The higher the net benefit the bigger the balance


Investment returns to members are most important

A report on superannuation, published by the Productivity Commission in December 2018, said that delivering investment returns to members (net of all fees and taxes) is the most important way super can help people achieve a good retirement income.

And a difference of 1% in returns, over the long term, can have a huge impact on your final balance. For example, the difference between a 5 and 6% return from your fund, can amount to a projected 23% ($255,000) difference in retirement balances for a typical full-time worker.1


FIND OUT MORE: AUSTRALIANSUPER’S PERFORMANCE

How well does AustralianSuper perform when it comes to net benefit?

Pre-retirement - building your super 

The following table compares AustralianSuper’s Balanced Option net benefit against the average of all super funds and bank-owned retail funds. This shows investment earnings to 30 June 2019 less admin and investment fees, and it’s one of the best ways to see how funds stack up.

The comparison shows what a member would have for 5, 10 and 15 years to 30 June 2019, in addition to a $50,000 starting balance and employer contributions, assuming they started with a $50,000 annual salary.2

Accumulation - Balanced Option

net benefit over 5 yrs net benefit over 10 yrs   Net benefit Over 15 yrs
AustralianSuper Balanced option $33,610 $103,386 $175,365
All super funds (average)
AustralianSuper advantage
$25,580
+$8,030
$82,598
+$20,789
$132,146
+$43,219
Retail funds (average)
AustralianSuper advantage
$23,346
+$10,264
$23,346
+$10,264
 $109,125
+$66,420
Net benefit to 30 June 2019. Investment returns are not guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.
In Retirement – Managing your pension

The following table compares the performance of AustralianSuper’s account based pension - Choice Income  - net benefit against others and shows how a member’s balance would have grown over 7 years to 30 June 2019, while still drawing a retirement income. Net benefit refers to investment earnings to 30 June 2019 (less administration and investment fees).

Choice Income - Account Based Pension

Starting balance Yearly income payment Investment earnings (less fees) over 7yrs Balance after 7 yrs 
AustralianSuper Choice Income – Balanced option $300,000 $22,300 $300,800 $444,700
All super funds (average)
AustralianSuper advantage
$300,000 $21,200
+$1,100
$239,700
+$61,100  
$391,100
+$53,600
Retail funds (average)
AustralianSuper advantage
$300,000 $20,900
+$1,400
$222,200
+$78,600
$375,800
+$68,900
Net benefit to 30 June 2019. Investment returns are not guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

Compare your super fund with AustralianSuper

Comparing super funds and account -based pension products such as Choice Income is an important step in managing your super. Independent superannuation and pension research group Chant West have a comparison tool you can use for free via the AustralianSuper website.

You can compare AustralianSuper with other funds on an ‘apples-to-apples’ basis that covers investments, fees, insurance and member services.

 

COMPARE AUSTRALIANSUPER NOW

 


References

1. Productivity commission - pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/superannuation

2. Comparisons are modelled by SuperRatings, commissioned by AustralianSuper. Modelled outcome shows the average difference in ‘net benefit’, a measure of past investment earnings after administration and investment fees and taxes have been taken out. The results compare the AustralianSuper Balanced option and the main balanced options of funds tracked by SuperRatings that have a comparable option and performance history, for historical periods to 30 June 2019. The model uses return and fee data that is submitted to SuperRatings. Insurance premiums and other fees and costs may apply. Outcomes vary between individual funds. Refer to the following link for more details about modelling calculations and assumptions: industrysuper.com/assumptions-australiansuper Returns from equivalent investment options of ARF and STA are used in calculating AustralianSuper’s returns for periods that begin before 1 July 2006. Investment returns are not guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

3. Comparisons are modelled by SuperRatings, commissioned by AustralianSuper. Modelled outcome shows the average difference in ‘net benefit’, a measure of past investment earnings after administration and investment fees have been taken out. The results compare the AustralianSuper Choice Income Balanced option and the main balanced options of funds tracked by SuperRatings that have a comparable option and performance history, for historical periods to 30 June 2019. The model uses return and fee data that is submitted to SuperRatings. The model assumes: a starting age of 65 commencing 1 July 2012 and finishing on 30 June 2019; a starting balance of $300,000; and a drawdown rate of 6% p.a. Capital growth will not continue throughout retirement. Insurance premiums and other fees and costs may apply. Outcomes vary between individual funds. Figures have been rounded to the nearest $100. Refer to the following link for more details about modelling calculations and assumptions: industrysuper.com/assumptions-australiansuper Investment returns are not guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

The views expressed are those of the interviewee based on their experience and expertise, and not AustralianSuper. This information is general financial advice which doesn’t take into account your personal objectives, situation or needs. Before deciding on AustralianSuper read the Product Disclosure Statement at australiansuper.com. AustralianSuper Pty Ltd ABN 94 006 457 987, AFSL 233788, Trustee of AustralianSuper ABN 65 714 394 898

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