Superannuation is one of the most common, yet misunderstood topics in everyday finance. Most people know what superannuation is and recognise how important is, but few people have put any serious time into finding the best super fund for their lifestyle and financial goals. With so much advertising and industry jargon it can be difficult to see how one superannuation fund is different from another. To ensure you have the best super fund for your finances, we’ve decided to look at the major types of super funds available to Australians. A little bit of research and preparation can help you find the best superannuation fund for your retirement plans and futureproof your finances for whatever is lurking around the corner.
Many Australians are signed on to a retail superannuation fund and these funds are generally run by banks or larger financial investment companies. Retail super funds are open to anyone and often offer a wide variety of investment opportunities for members. As they are owned by private companies however, it is important to note that retail funds are set up to retain some profit and not necessarily to members.
The other main superannuation option taken by Australians are industry superannuation funds. While some are open, industry super funds are typically restricted to members of industries and work with lower cost models for members. As industry super funds are not set up as private companies, any profits they make are put back into the fund with the intention of benefitting all the members.
An increasingly popular option for Australians looking to optimise their retirement finances is self-managed superannuation funds. With a self-managed super fund, you’re in control of where your money goes, rather than having it invested on your behalf by a fund manager. As you could imagine a self-managed super fund comes with its fair share of admin (and risk), but if you’ve got a background in finance it can potentially lead to greater returns.
Tips for finding the best superannuation fund:
- Compare your options – Part of what makes superannuation such a difficult decision to get right is the set and forget aspect of the accumulation phase. No matter how far you’re into professional life it’s always a good idea to compare your options. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, but you don’t want to be losing valuable money.
- Consolidate your super – Australians with multiple superannuation funds are having their retirement finances bled dry by multiple fees and the tragedy is most of them don’t even realise it. If you’ve got multiple superannuation funds, it’s a good idea to find the best super fund for your financial goals and consolidate your super into that account.
- Keep an eye on everything – Most Australians discard their regular superannuation updates, but it’s crucial to keep an eye on your retirement finances. Over time a difference in fee requirements can accumulate and make a bit difference to the size of your nest egg.
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