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Industry or Retail fund

Industry or Retail super fund?

When choosing the right super fund for you, it’s important to know the difference between an Industry SuperFund and a retail super fund.

Industry SuperFunds

  • Industry SuperFunds were first established in the 1980s to protect Australian workers’ super from the high fee and commission products that were then common in the retail superannuation market
  • Industry SuperFunds have never paid commissions or incentives to our own staff or any financial planners or advisers
  • Industry SuperFunds are run only to profit members
  • They are governed by trustee boards made up of both employer and employee organisation representatives.
  • Industry SuperFunds aim to provide above average investment returns to members, while keeping management fees as low as possible.
  • Industry SuperFunds are committed to quality long-term infrastructure and building investments in Australia because they benefit our members through broader economic growth as well as healthy investment returns.

These are just some of the factors that have led to Industry SuperFunds outperforming retail funds over the last three, ten and 15 years*.

A list of the 16 Industry SuperFunds can be found here.

Retail Super Funds

  • Unlike Industry SuperFunds, retail funds (run by banks and insurance companies) help generate corporate profits, which are returned as dividends to shareholders, not superannuation policyholders.
  • The big banks are behind most of the big retail super funds, for example:
    • BT Super (Westpac)
    • MLC (Nab)
    • Colonial First State (Commonwealth Bank)
    • OnePath (ANZ Bank)
  • While the banks behind retail superannuation funds have regularly made enormous profits themselves, over the last 15 years the average retail fund has delivered around $47,000 less to their members than the average Industry SuperFund.*

*Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance and should never be the sole factor considered when selecting a fund. Comparisons modelled by SuperRatings, commissioned by ISA and shows average differences in net benefit of the main balanced options of 16 Industry SuperFunds and retail funds tracked by SuperRatings, with a 3 (144 funds), 10 (73 funds) and 15 (45 funds) year performance history, taking into account historical earnings and fees – excluding contribution, entry, exit and additional advisor fees – of main balanced options. Outcomes may vary between individual funds. Modelling as at 30 June 2018. See for more details about modelling calculations and assumptions. Consider a fund’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and your personal financial situation, needs or objectives, which are not accounted for in this information, before making an investment decision. 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.

Assumes initial starting balance of $50,000 and initial salary of $50,000.