Choosing a superannuation fund is an important decision, affecting your long-term savings and retirement. All super funds are different, with different features, investment options and fees. If you are looking for your first super fund or want to switch funds, here are a few things to consider when choosing.
Fees and performance
All super funds charge fees, and you want to look for one with the lowest fees. Fees are deducted from your account balance and can have a significant impact on your long-term savings. Superannuation fees can be hundreds or thousands of dollars, so it is essential to compare fees across different providers when choosing. Additionally, compare fees against the funds’ performance over at least five years.
Everyone has a different appetite for risk – how much risk are you comfortable with? Most superannuation funds will offer a variety of investment opportunities, catering for different risk appetites, ranging from conservative to high risk. Consider and compare funds that provide similar investment strategies that are suitable for your lifestyle and age.
Many superannuation funds offer insurance that generally have cheaper premiums than those available through insurance companies. Typically, this includes life insurance, total and permanent disability cover, and income protection. Premiums are deducted from your superannuation balance. Consider your lifestyle needs, but make sure you fully understand what you are covered for and the costs involved.
Depending on your needs, a differentiator between funds is their usability and customer experience. If you plan on checking your superannuation balance often, like you would a bank account, then you should consider a fund that has an easy to use online platform and can be easily contacted, for example with an online chat or through a mobile application.
Superannuation is always changing, so it is essential to do your research and not get complacent. Check-in on your balance now and then, ensuring that employer contributions are being made and your balance isn’t wasting away to fees or underperforming investments.