Super fees bite into balance

Three-quarters of Australians know their superannuation balance off the top of their heads, but half don’t know what fees they are paying, which is a costly error.

A new report from the Financial Services Council (FSC) and ING Direct (ING), Superannuation – Australia’s view 2013, found that 72 per cent of Australians know their superannuation balance but 52 per cent do not know how much they are being charged in fees. Many Australians simply take a cursory glance at their superannuation statement, without querying how much it is costing to run their account.

What is worrying, is that 73 per cent of the 1000 working-aged people surveyed don’t think they will have enough for retirement, with 38 per cent believing they will need a balance of $1 million to see them through retirement. The average balance for women is $112,000, while men fare better with an average of $198,000, according to the two bodies. However, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), state that the average balance is $70,000.

With Australians often having more than one superannuation fund, even low fees can bite into the balance, so it pays to shop around and consolidate your superannuation funds. For more information on consolidating your superannuation funds, or finding lost superannuation, visit

Written by Debbie McTaggart