*Past performance data in the comparison table is for the period ending December 2022.
What is an industry super fund?
Industry super funds are not-for-profit super funds that are owned by the members of the fund. These funds give profits back to members in the form of lower fees, instead of paying profits to shareholders like many retail super funds do. Lower fees often mean higher investment returns over the long term, too.
Industry super funds aren't owned by a major bank or financial institution. Instead, they're owned by the members of the fund. Industry super funds are not-for-profit funds, as they don't exist to make a profit for a parent company or shareholders, but instead exist to benefit the members of the fund.
Benefits of joining an industry super fund:
- A lot of members from a particular industry
- Profits go back into the fund to benefit members, not shareholders
- Low fees compared to some major retail funds
- Strong long-term performance figures
- They're not owned by a bank or financial institution
- Large investments in Australian infrastructure (unlisted assets)
Who can join an industry super fund?
Many industry super funds were initially only available to workers in a certain industry, for example, hospitality or retail. However, today, most industry super funds are open for all Australians to join.
If you work in a particular industry your employer may have the associated industry super fund available as their default option for employees. However, you're in no way required to join your employers chosen fund or your industry fund and are free to join whichever super fund you wish.
How to compare industry super funds
Consider the following features when you're choosing an industry super fund.
The industry it's aligned to
Most funds are open to everyone to join, and you don't have to join the fund for your particular industry. however, you might like to. Some industry funds offer tailored perks and benefits to people who work in that industry, and often the fund will invest back into the industry when making investment decisions.
When comparing performance, look for a fund with high long-term returns (the 10+ year returns) for the most accurate picture of how the fund has performed on average.
Look for low annual admin and investment fees. The more money you pay in fees the less you'll benefit from investment returns.
Does the fund offer tailored insurance options for your particular industry? For example, Cbus is the industry fund for construction workers and offers a range of insurance options to suit this line of work.
Check the fund's investment strategy aligns with what you're looking for. For example does it invest ethically?
How well do industry super funds perform?
Industry super funds have, on average, performed better than retail super funds over the long term. Data analysed by Industry Super Australia found that industry funds have outperformed retail funds over the past 5, 10 and 20 years.
Finder's comparison table shows that of the top-10 performing Balanced funds for the past decade, all 10 are industry super funds. These are listed below.
Best industry super funds
The table below shows the top 10 Balanced industry super funds based on 10-year return, per annum to December 2022.
|Super fund||10-year return|
|Australian Retirement Trust Balanced Balanced||8.56%|
|HESTA Balanced Growth||8.07%|
|Legal Super MySuper Balanced||8.04%|
|Vision Super Balanced Growth||8.01%|
|Aware Super Growth||7.98%|
The table above looks at only Balanced industry super funds using data from Chant West and available in our comparison table when filtering for 'Balanced'. Ethical or sustainable options have been excluded. Balanced funds in the table are those with an asset allocation between 61-80% towards growth assets.
When determining our 'Top Picks', we included the first 5 funds from this list. The performance data we looked at for this list was the 10-year returns for the period ending December 2022. We haven't considered other features of the funds (such as fees) when determining our Top Picks - it's based on performance alone. We have looked at all products in the market that we have data available for, including retail super funds and funds that have no commercial partnerships with Finder.
Do industry super funds have low fees?
The fees charged by industry super funds vary, and will depend on the investment option that you're in.
5 Balanced industry super funds with the lowest fees
|Super fund||Fees p.a. on $50k balance|
|Vision Super Balanced Growth||$393|
|Rest Super - Core Strategy||$428|
How to switch to an industry super fund
Follow these steps to switch to an industry super fund:
1. Pick an industry super fund.
You can use the comparison table above to compare the fees and performance figures for all industry super funds.
2. Join the fund.
Complete the online membership application form for the fund you've chosen. Make sure to have details like your Tax File Number and your employer's details handy, as well as ID like a driver's license or passport.
3. Close your previous fund (if you have one).
There will be an option to consolidate your super in the application form. Just provide your membership number/s from your old fund, and the new fund you're switching to will take care of the rest.
4. Tell your employer.
Give your new membership number and account details to your employer so that they can pay your super guarantee payments directly into the new fund.
Frequently asked questions
Why you can trust Finder's super fund experts
Our comparison tables are completely free to use. We link you directly to the super fund's secure application page. Plus, you can access all of our research in our media room.
We've researched and rated hundreds of super funds as part of our Finder Awards. We've published 50+ guides and our in-house experts regularly appear on Sunrise, 7News and SBS News.
Unlike other comparison sites, we're not owned by a super fund company. That means our opinions are our own and you can compare nearly every super fund in Australia on Finder.
Since 2017, we've helped over 200,000 people find a super fund by comprehensively comparing funds. We'll never ask for your personal information. We're here to help you make a decision.
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