Net benefit and why it's important to your super

31 August 2023

Net benefit is the number that really matters when it comes to assessing how your fund is performing. Strong long-term returns, a growing balance, insurance and other benefits 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 super fund charges to manage and invest your money. Industry Super Funds, such as AustralianSuper, are run for members’ benefit.

 

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 administration and investment fees and costs, transaction costs and taxes. When you’re comparing the performance of super funds or checking that your fund is delivering on your investments, net benefit is one of the most important things to consider.

The higher the net benefit the bigger the balance

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

Pre-retirement - building your super 

The table below shows how the net benefit of AustralianSuper’s Balanced option compares to others.

Net Benefit - Super
net benefit over 5 yrs net benefit over 10 yrs Net benefit Over 15 yrs
AustralianSuper Balanced option $22,125 $83,229 $148,711
All super funds (average)
$18,421 $66,819 $125,013
Retail funds (average)
$16,171 $58,030 $106,635
Net benefit refers to investment earnings to 30 June 2023 (less administration and investment fees and costs, transaction costs and taxes). Investment returns are not guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

The table above shows what a member would have for 5, 10 and 15 years to 30 June 2023, in addition to a $50,000 starting balance and employer contributions, assuming they started with a $50,000 annual salary1.


In retirement – managing your pension

Even in retirement, our history of strong performance3 has given AustralianSuper members an advantage over the long term. The table below compares the performance of AustralianSuper’s account based pension - Choice Income - net benefit against others. It shows how a member’s balance would have grown over 10 years to 30 June 2023, while still drawing a retirement income.

Net Benefit - Account based pension
Starting balance Average yearly income payment over 10 yrs Investment earnings over 10 years (less fees and costs) Balance after 10 yrs
AustralianSuper Choice Income account – Balanced option $300,000 $22,200 $333,000 $411,000
All super funds (average)
$300,000 $20,900
$281,100
$372,200
Retail funds (average)
$300,000 $19,600 $219,300 $323,500
The model uses return and fee data that is submitted to SuperRatings. The model assumes: a starting age of 65 commencing 1 July 2013 and finishing on 30 June 2023; a starting balance of $300,000; and a drawdown rate of 6% p.a. Figures have been rounded to the nearest $100. Investment returns aren’t guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.
Net benefit refers to investment earnings to 30 June 2023 (less administration and investment fees and costs, transaction costs and taxes).

The table above shows that if a member retired 10 years ago and started with a balance of $300,000 in an AustralianSuper Choice Income account – and withdrew on average $22,200 each year over 10 years as regular income – the balance would have grown to $411,0002.

 

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 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 and costs, insurance and member services.

 

COMPARE AUSTRALIANSUPER NOW

 

Other factors to consider 

While net benefit is a key measure of performance, some other things you may want to consider include: 

  1. long-term performance – you should consider returns over the long term, as markets can fluctuate in the short term. 
  2. investment options – how your super is invested can affect how your balance grows and how long it lasts. You can choose from hands-on options or leave investment decisions to experts. 
  3. fees and costs – may include admin fees and costs, investment fees and costs, insurance fees, brokerage fees, transaction costs and advice fees.
  4. advice options – may include online resources and simple over-the-phone super advice, or access to more comprehensive financial advice with an expert. 
  5. insurance – may include a basic level of protection if you die or become ill or injured.

SEE OUR PERFORMANCE RETURNS

References

1. Comparisons modelled by SuperRatings, commissioned by AustralianSuper. The outcome shows the average difference in ‘net benefit’, a measure of past investment returns after administration, investment fees and costs, transaction costs and taxes have been taken out. The results compare the AustralianSuper Balanced investment option and comparable balanced options, for historical periods to 30 June 2023. Insurance premiums and other fees and costs may also apply. Outcomes vary between individual funds. See Assumptions for more details. Investment returns aren’t guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns. Returns from equivalent options of the ARF and STA super funds are used in calculating return for periods that begin before 1 July 2006.

2. Comparisons modelled by SuperRatings, commissioned by AustralianSuper. The outcome shows the average difference in ‘net benefit’, a measure of past investment returns after administration, investment fees and costs and transaction costs have been taken out. The results compare the AustralianSuper Choice Income Balanced investment option and comparable pension balanced options, for historical periods to 30 June 2023. Other fees and costs may also apply. Outcomes vary between individual funds. See Assumptions for more details. Investment returns aren’t guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.
The model uses return and fee data that is submitted to SuperRatings. The model assumes: a starting age of 65 commencing 1 July 2013 and finishing on 30 June 2023; a starting balance of $300,000; and a drawdown rate of 6% p.a. Figures have been rounded to the nearest $100. Investment returns aren’t guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

3. AustralianSuper Balanced investment option compared to the SuperRatings Fund Crediting Rate Survey - SR50 Balanced (60–76) Index and SRP50 Balanced (60-76) to 30 June 2023. Investment returns aren’t guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

The information shown on this website is general information only. We haven’t taken into account your needs or personal objectives when providing the information. You should assess your own financial situation and needs and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about products on this website. A Target Market Determination (TMD) is a document that outlines the target market a product has been designed for. Find the TMDs at australiansuper.com/TMD.

This website is provided by AustralianSuper Pty Ltd ABN 94 006 457 987, AFSL 233788, Trustee of AustralianSuper ABN 65 714 394 898 Superannuation Fund Number (SFN): 2683 519 45, Superannuation Product Identification Number (SPIN): STA0100AU.


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