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Choice of fund

Choosing a super fund

Choosing the right superannuation fund will be one of the most important decisions you’ll make about your retirement income. Not only will your employer make super contributions into your fund of choice, but your own voluntary contributions go into your account as well. So it’s vital that you have the right fund for your needs.

In most cases, you can choose the super fund that you want compulsory contributions to be paid into.

There are different types of super funds, but they can generally be divided into three groups:

  • Industry super funds are run only to profit members 
  • Corporate funds are managed (and often subsidised) by the employer or company
  • Commercial or retail super funds are generally offered and run by banks or insurance companies.

Research and choose

When selecting a superannuation fund, it’s important to ensure you choose one that meets your needs. Things to consider include:

  • Whether the fund has a good track record
  • What fees will be charged
  • Whether the fund offers a range of investment options
  • If it offers life insurance and/or disability cover and how much that costs
  • Availability of advice to help you make decisions about your super

Joining the fund

Once you’ve decided which fund is for you, you’ll need to apply for an account and membership number. Each fund has its own method of joining up. Some allow you to join up online, while for others you’ll have to print out a form, fill it in and send it back.  A few days after you submit your application, you should receive a letter from your fund giving you your account number and name, as well as details about your fund which will be required by your employer.

Telling your employer 

As soon as you receive your membership details, make sure you tell your employer so that they can pay your super into the right account. All you need to do is:

Give the form to your employer. Do not send it to your super fund or the Australian Taxation Office.

The Choice of Superannuation Fund form will have all the fund details auto-populated if you choose an Industry SuperFund, so you it’s very simple to complete. The Standard Choice Form requires you to complete additional details such as your superannuation fund’s ABN and product identification number (SPIN) which should be in the welcome pack your fund sends you, but these details can also usually be found on the superannuation fund’s website.