10 steps to change super funds

19 June 2024

Having the right super fund can make a big impact on your financial future. So, if you’re thinking about whether to change super funds, make sure you’re across the key things to look for. Here are the top 10 tips for when you’re switching super funds.

1. Decide which type of super fund is right for you — industry or retail

When you’re considering a change in super funds, it’s good to understand the difference between a retail and an industry fund. The biggest difference is what happens to any profits they make. Industry super funds are ‘profit to member’ organisations, which means profits are returned to members, not shareholders. Retail super funds are commonly run by financial institutions, such as banks or wealth management companies and return profits to shareholders.

 

2. Get a clear picture of the fees you’ll pay

Super funds charge fees to cover the cost of managing your super and investments, as well as providing other services that you receive as a member of that fund. The fee, and how often it’s paid can differ. With some funds you’ll pay a set fee, and with others a percentage of your account balance, or a combination of both. If you’re planning on making the switch to a new super fund, it’s a good idea to compare all fees and costs.

As Australia’s largest fund1, we use our size and scale to help obtain low admin fees for members2. Lower fees can mean more of your super stays invested to grow for your future.

See how our fees and costs work

 

3. Look at long-term investment performance

How your super fund performs over the long term could make a big difference to your money for retirement. When you look at a fund’s returns, look at past performance — not just how it’s performing today. Also look at what that performance means for the ‘net benefit’ of your super. Net benefit is the number that really matters, it’s your investment returns minus your admin and investment fees.

Compare: Net benefit of AustralianSuper’s Balanced option3

The table shows what a member would have for 5, 10 and 15 years to 31 December 2023, in addition to a $50,000 starting balance and employer contributions, assuming they started with a $50,000 annual salary.

Net Benefit Outcomes
Over 5 years Over 10 years Over 15 years
AustralianSuper - Balanced $26,364 $75,957 $171,812
All super funds (average) - Balanced $22,874 $61,738 $151,252
Retail super funds (average) - Balanced $20,829 $54,015 $132,498

Net benefit refers to investment earnings to 31 December 2023 (less administration and investment fees and costs). Investment returns are not guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

 

4. Know how your fund invests your super

Each super fund invests your money differently. When looking to change super funds, it’s important you know what your investment options are, and the level of risk associated with each option.

At AustralianSuper, we invest with one goal in mind: to help members achieve their best financial position in retirement. Our in-house investment team of over 170 experts invests across the globe to help members’ balances grow over the long run. More than 90% of members are invested in the Balanced option, designed for long-term growth.

READ MORE: HOW WE INVEST

 

5. Make sure you have the right insurance cover through your super

About 8 million Australians have at least one type of insurance through their super fund4. Most funds offer a basic level of insurance cover to members, so it’s important to know you’ve got the right level of cover and aren’t paying more than you should.

At AustralianSuper, we provide 3 types of insurance cover for members: Death cover (Life insurance), Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD) cover, and Income Protection5. We work with our insurer to negotiate discounted bulk insurance rates for members, with premiums automatically deducted from your super account each month.

 

6. Consider a super fund that offers you help and support

Super can be complex, and a bit of support could help you make the right financial decisions for the future. Choose a fund that can offer you trusted guidance and support, and access to advice services if you need it.

We’re here to support members and offer a range of general help and guidance, as well as access to professional advice and online services including:

 

7. Check to see that you’re not losing any benefits linked to your work

Before you change funds, check if your current fund provides any benefits based on who you work for or the industry you’re in, for example, discounted insurance cover. By switching to a new fund, you could lose these benefits. Also check that you’re not working under an agreement that requires you to be a member of a certain fund.

 

8. Compare super funds – and if you’re ready, open a new account

To compare funds yourself, use the ChantWest Super AppleCheck tool. It lets you see up to 3 super funds side-by-side to compare fees, long-term performance and other factors to help you make an informed choice.

If you decide you’d like to switch to AustralianSuper, it’s easy to open a super account with us in less than 15 minutes.

HOW TO JOIN AUSTRALIANSUPER

 

9. Tell your employer you've changed super funds

If you change funds, remember to let your employer know so they can pay your super into the correct account.

If you've chosen to open a new super account with AustralianSuper, you can provide your employer with a copy of the Pay my super into AustralianSuper form or use the AustralianSuper mobile app. Alternatively, you can also complete the Superannuation standard choice form available from the ATO or your employer.

 

10. Consider combining your super into your new account8

By consolidating your super, you put all of it in one place and with one super fund. That can mean paying a single set of fees, plus making your super easier to manage.

If you’ve decided to consolidate your super into your new AustralianSuper account, you can do this quickly and easily via your online account. Bear in mind that you’ll need to have provided us with your Tax File Number (TFN).

AustralianSuper members can also combine super accounts by completing a Consolidate your super form.

READ MORE: CONSOLIDATE YOUR SUPER

 

It’s never too late to switch super funds. If you’re just starting work or still a long way from retirement, the benefits of being with a good fund can make a difference to your super balance. For those closer to retirement age, seeking personal guidance to make the most of your remaining working years, and putting a retirement plan in place, can also help you prepare.

 

JOIN AUSTRALIANSUPER TODAY

References:

  1. APRA Annual fund-level superannuation statistics June 2023. Released 13 December 2023.
  2. Source: Zenith CW Pty Ltd (Chant West) (ABN 20 639 121 403). Chant West Super Fund Fee Survey December 2023. Survey compares administration fees and costs for MySuper products for a $50,000 balance. Other fees and costs apply. Fees may change in the future which may affect the outcome of this comparison.
  3. Comparisons modelled by SuperRatings, commissioned by AustralianSuper. The outcome shows the average difference in ‘net benefit’, a measure of past investment earnings after administration fees, investment fees and costs and taxes have been taken out. The results compare the AustralianSuper Balanced investment option and comparable balanced options, for historical periods to 31 December 2023. Insurance premiums and other fees and costs may also apply. Outcomes vary between individual funds. See Assumptions for more details. Investment returns are not guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.
  4. ASIC, Insurance in superannuation: Industry progress on delivering better outcomes for members, published March 2023.
  5. AustralianSuper insurance is provided by TAL Life Limited (the Insurer) ABN 70 050 109 450, AFSL 237848.
  6. There’s no charge for general advice about your super account. The financial advice you receive will be provided by Link Advice Pty Limited ABN 36 105 811 836, AFSL 238145 and will be their responsibility. Personal product advice provided may attract a fee, which will be outlined before any work is completed and is subject to your agreement.
  7. Personal financial product advice is provided under the Australian Financial Services Licence held by a third party and not by AustralianSuper Pty Ltd. Some personal advice may attract a fee, which would be outlined before any work is completed and is subject to your agreement. With your approval, the fee for advice relating to your AustralianSuper account may be deducted from your AustralianSuper account subject to eligibility criteria.
  8. Before making a decision to combine your super, consider any fees or charges that may apply, and the effect a transfer may have on benefits in your other fund such as insurance cover. We recommend you consider seeking financial advice. If you wish to claim a tax deduction for personal super contributions, you must lodge a notice of intent to claim a tax deduction with your other fund before you combine your super.

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