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A guide to the different types of superannuation funds

There are a lot of different types of superannuation funds, and many people to not know what the differences between them are. We have compiled this guide to explain the different types of superannuation and details the advantages and disadvantages of each.

MySuper accounts are a new type superannuation account that is a ‘no-frills’ superannuation option. Soon MySuper accounts will become the default superannuation option when an employee has not chosen a super fund. MySuper accounts have low fees and very simple features. Retail, industry and corporate funds can all offer MySuper accounts.

Retail Funds
Retail super funds are run for profit, usually by financial institutions or corporate investment firms. Membership is open to the public and people will often be referred to them by them by financial advisors, who may receive fees or commissions for the referral. For this reason you should always do your own research before taking advice to join a retail super fund. Retail super funds are known to have high fees, so you should always consider whether or not your returns will justify these costs.

Industry Funds
Industry funds are often restricted to employees from a specific industry, although some of the larger ones are open to the public. Industry funds are non-for-profit, so the fund directs all of the returns back to members. The fees of industry funds vary greatly, so you should make comparisons if you are considering an industry fund.

Public Sector Funds
Public sector funds were established for employees of Federal and State government departments. They are usually only open to governments employees, and generally have low fees and are not-for-profit. Public sector funds may be defined benefit or accumulation funds, although newer members tend to be in accumulation funds.

Corporate Funds
Corporate funds are organised by employers for their employees. The fund may be operated by larger retail or industry funds, in which case they will take some of the profits , or be operated by the employer under a boards of trustees, in which case they are not-for-profit.

Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSF)
SMSFs are superannuation funds that are managed by their members. An SMSF may have between one and four members, and they allow people to have more control over their investment options. There are also investments that are possible in SMSFs that are not available in public funds, for example; an SMSF may purchase a residential property that will be transferred to the members when they reach pension age. SMSFs can, however, be time consuming and will be more cost effective for some people than others.





Understanding various kinds of super fees

February 16, 2018

No matter the kind of superfund you opt for, you will be subject to super fees. Understanding how these fees work and the difference they can make to your next egg is vital.

When it comes to superfund fees, there are two factors you need to get your head around; the kinds of fees you are being charged and the rate of fees you pay. Opting for a superfund based on these two factors can see you retire with hundreds of thousands more money.

You should be aware of the various types of fees you are being charged. If you would like to find out the fees you are being charged, you should do two things. Firstly, Google your fund’s product disclosure statement and scroll through to the fees section. You should see a list of different types of fees, with an explanation of what they are, how they are applied, and how often they will be incurred. Secondly, you should log in to your superfund account and take note of all the fees being charged to you. Investigate how closely these correspond and correlate with the product disclosure statement.

If you feel there are discrepancies, do not hesitate to contact your superfund or financial advisor and ask for clarification. It is worthwhile doing your research and comparing the fees you are being charged against other super funds and what they charge. Being complacent and not paying attention to your super is extremely irresponsible; the dividends you will receive later in life for being diligent now outweighs the burden of taking time to be informed today.

Some of the common super fees across the board include:

Another major factor contributing to how much you accumulate in your super account throughout your working life is the rate of fees you pay. Plain and simple, some funds offer much lower fees than other, creating a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars when it comes time to retire.

Generally, funds are categorised into three groups; low super fees, medium super fees and high super fees. Ultimately, you want to be in a fund that charges low super fees. In saying this, it’s not only about super fees, as some funds have medium-high super fees but also perform better based on investment strategy, meaning you will get more back from your investments.