The 10 best and worst super funds

Online investment adviser Stockspot released its annual Fat Cat Funds Report earlier this week assessing the performance of Australia’s largest superannuation funds.

The report, which has now been published for six years, rates superannuation funds based on how they have performed after fees over five years compared to funds of similar risk, dividing them into Fit Cat Funds (the best-performing funds) and Fat Cat Funds (the worst performing).

To highlight the difference fees can make to fund performance, the No.1 best performing fund can return twice as much to its members as the worst-performing funds.

The research shows there is a clear correlation between high fees and long-term underperformance with Fat Cat Funds generally having higher fees than Fit Cat Funds.

Poor fund performance comes predominantly from active management fees as well as higher administration and operating expenses than necessary.

“Too many Australians are unaware of the devastating impact high fees have on their long-term retirement savings,” Stockspot chief executive Chris Brycki said.

“Our research makes it clear that the scale of the conflicts of interest are deeply embedded in Australia’s financial institutions. This has led to a situation that will impact many Australians, who will never be able to afford a comfortable retirement due to unnecessary superannuation fees over their lifetime.

“The Royal Commission into Banking Conduct and the Productivity Commission has surfaced some of the reasons people end up in poor performing funds.

“Many relate to issues that arise when stakeholders including financial advisers, trustees, executive teams, fund managers and consultants have incentives that are not aligned with the people they represent – the fund members.”

Top 10 high-growth super funds
The top performing funds in this group had very little fixed income and cash. This helped them achieve returns of 12-14 per cent per annum.

 

Type

Name

5 Year Returns

Retail

MLC Superannuation Fund – MLC Horizon 7 Accelerated Growth Portfolio

14.10%

     

Industry

Unisuper – High Growth

12.56%

Industry

First Super – Shares Plus

12.45%

     

Corporate

 Rio Tinto Staff Superannuation Fund High Growth

12.31%

Industry

Equipsuper – Growth Plus

12.27%

     

Industry

Unisuper – Sustainable High Growth

12.27%

Industry

Intrust Super Fund – Growth

12.27%

     

Industry

Statewide Superannuation Trust – High Growth

12.19%

Industry

Club Plus Superannuation Scheme – High Growth

12.10%

     

Industry

Construction & Building Unions Superannuation – High Growth

12.10%

 

Top 10 balanced super funds
The top performers in this group had a 48 per cent allocation to fixed income and cash. This helped them achieve returns of seven to nine per cent per annum over five years.

 

Type

Name

5 Year Returns

Industry

Australian Super – Conservative Balanced

8.46%

     

Retail

The Bendigo Superannuation Plan – Bendigo Balanced Index

8.45%

Industry

Unisuper – Conservative Balanced

7.91%

     

Corporate

Rio Tinto Staff Superannuation Fund Conservative Growth

7.76%

Industry

Equipsuper – Balanced

7.64%

     

Industry

legalsuper – Conservative balanced

7.60%

Industry

First Super – Conservative Balanced

7.54%

     

Industry

NGS Super – Balanced

7.51%

Industry

MyLifeMyMoney Superannuation Fund Moderately Conservative

7.42%

     

Industry

Austsafe Superannuation Fund CRF Capital Stable

7.20%

 

Bottom 10 high-growth funds
The bottom funds typically had more (15 per cent) cash and bonds and higher fees. The average fee was 2.2 per cent. This dragged performance down to six to eight per cent per annum.

 

Type

Name

5 Year Returns

Retail

OnePath Masterfund – OptiMix Balanced Trust

6.12%

     

Retail

OnePath Masterfund – OnePath Managed Growth Trust

6.31%

Retail

MLC Superannuation Fund – MLC Inflation Plus Portfolios – Assertive Portfolio

6.78%

     

Retail

OnePath Masterfund – OnePath Active Growth Trust

6.79%

Industry

Maritime Super – Moderate

7.01%

     

Retail

OnePath Masterfund – OptiMix Growth Trust

7.08%

Industry

Australian Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund – Balanced

7.15%

     

Corporate

Commonwealth Bank Group Super – Balanced

7.42%

Public Sector

Energy Industries Superannuation SchemePool A – Balanced

7.67%

     

Retail

OnePath Masterfund – OnePath Select Leaders Trust

7.94%

 

Bottom 10 balanced funds
There was a mix of retail, industry, corporate and public sector funds in the Fat Cat list. The common theme is these funds charge higher than average fees.

 

Type

Name

5 Year Returns

Retail

OnePath Masterfund – OptiMix Conservative Trust

3.58%

     

Retail

Perpetual WealthFocus Superannuation Fund – Perpetual Conservative Growth

4.10%

Public Sector

AvSuper Fund – Conservative Growth

4.90%

     

Industry

Maritime Super – Conservative

4.95%

Industry

StatePlus Retirement Fund – Moderate

5.00%

     

Public Sector

Energy Industries Superannuation SchemePool A – Conservative

5.01%

Corporate

IAG & NRMA Superannuation Plan – Conservative

5.20%

     

Industry

Labour Union Co-Operative Retirement Fund – Conservative

5.29%

Retail

The Bendigo Superannuation Plan – Sandhurst BMF-Bendigo Conservative

5.29%

     

Retail

Perpetual’s Select Superannuation Fund – Diversified

5.31%

Are any of your funds on the list? Are they on the best-performing or worst-performing list?

Written by Ben

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