Think HBR

Taking your super for a test drive?

When it comes to buying a new car, most of us like to shop around and take our time to find the right one. We’ll do our research, compare models, and most likely take them out for a test drive to see which one really suits us.
Factors like good performance and reliability are important to look for, but just as important can be things like safety and deciding which options you need (and those you don’t). But above all, you’ll want to know how much your new car is going to cost you, both upfront and over time.
So when you really stop and think about it, shouldn’t these be exactly the same factors you look for with your super fund? Whilst there are many funds out there, for many people the choice will come down to an industry super fund or a retail super fund, and it’s definitely worth a test drive to see which one suits you best.
Industry super funds were created by employee and employer groups to provide superannuation arrangements for workers in specific industries or states. Nowadays, most industry super funds are public offer, which means anyone can join.
Industry super funds are run only to benefit members and have low fees and strong long-term performance.
Retail super funds are typically owned and operated by banks that have shareholders to please, not just their members. Their products are often promoted through financial adviser networks who may receive sales incentives for referrals.
It’s important to look at performance after fees to see the real benefit of a fund.
When taking into account both fees and performance, AustSafe Super, the industry super fund for rural and regional Australia has outperformed the average retail super fund by more than $18,000 over the last ten years*.
When considering changing funds, you should also check to see if there are any entry or exit fees or switching fees. Super is a long term investment and can become one of your most important assets when nearing retirement. A little planning now can get you on track for a better retirement. Surely that’s worth a quick test drive now? 
*Comparisons modelled by SuperRatings Pty Ltd ABN 95 100 192 283, commissioned by ISA Pty Ltd ABN 72 158 563 270 Corporate Authorised Representative No. 426006 of Industry Fund Services Ltd ABN 54 007 016 195 AFSL 232514. Modelled outcome assumes a starting balance of $50,000 and initial salary of $50,000 and shows 10 year average difference in net benefit of the main balanced options of AustSafe Super (MySuper) Balanced Option and the 79 retail funds tracked by SuperRatings, with a 10 year performance history, taking into account historical earnings and fees – excluding voluntary contributions, entry, exit and additional adviser fees – of main balanced options. Outcomes vary between individual funds. Modelling as at 30 June 2014.
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance and should never be the sole factor considered when selecting a fund.
This article does not take into account your personal financial situation, needs or objectives. It is important to consider these matters and read the AustSafe Super Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) available at before you make a decision about this product. Austsafe Pty Ltd ABN 96 010 528 597, AF SL 314183 is the Trustee of AustSafe Super ABN 92 398 191 503.