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Why it pays to compare super fund fees

2019-07-22 04:30

Making sure your super account doesn't attract high fees and charges can make a big difference to your final balance.

Few Australians want to work forever. If you hope to enjoy a comfortable life once you've downed tools, accumulating sufficient funds to support yourself in retirement is essential. Investing your retirement savings in a commission-free superannuation fund with low administration fees is one of the ways you can maximise your final balance.

Small differences can make a big difference

Superannuation is a long-term investment. Young Australians who enter the workforce in their twenties may wait as long as 50 years before they can draw on the contributions they've made throughout their working lives. 

That extended timeframe makes it possible to enjoy the benefits of compound interest.

It also means fees and charges which may not seem significant in the short term can add up dramatically, over the course of several decades.

Projecting the savings

ANZ Smart Choice Super and Pension fees comparison graph: 20 years


ANZ Smart Choice Super and Pension fees comparison graph: 30 years


For an Australian aged 35, with a super balance of $50,000, changing to a fund with lower fees could mean an additional $50,000 in their super account when they retire at 65.

Get smarter about your super

It's wise to become familiar with the fees associated with your super account, regardless of where you're at in your career journey, or the size of your nest egg, according to ANZ head of Superannuation, Mark Pankhurst.

Superannuation funds can charge a range of fees, including administration, investment and switching fees.

"All super funds are affected by market conditions and that means your balance can rise and fall, regardless of the fund you're in or the investment mix you've chosen," Pankhurst says.

"One thing you can do though, to improve your balance, is to make sure you are in a fund which has low fees and no commissions."

ANZ's Smart Choice Super is a low fee super account which does not generate commissions for ANZ employees or agents of the Bank. 

An Australian with an ANZ Smart Choice Super and Pension balance of $50,000 currently pays annual fees of $350. That's significantly less than the average of $591 charged by industry funds in 2019, according to the ANZ Smart Choice Super Fees Analysis (PDF) of March 2019.

The disparity becomes greater as balances increase. An individual with a $250,000 ANZ Smart Choice Super and Pension balance currently pays fees of $1550 a year. Someone with a similar balance in an industry fund will be charged an average of $2730.

They're differences that can, over time, make a big difference to the size of the sum you'll have to support yourself in retirement.

These graphs show the difference higher fees can have on a typical super balance over 20 and 30 year periods. 

"Costs can vary significantly between institutions and it pays to compare super funds to make sure the fees and charges you're paying aren't preventing your balance from growing as quickly as it might," Pankhurst says.

"We're committed to ensuring Australians have access to investment products that provide great performance and features and that represent excellent value for money.

"Having your retirement savings in a low-fee super fund like ANZ Smart Choice Super, which delivers consistent returns for customers over the long term, can result in a higher final balance."

Planning for a more comfortable future

Australia's superannuation system is designed to give 'a dignified and comfortable retirement to as many Australians as possible', according to Dr Martin Fahy, the CEO of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA). 

That means having enough put away to be able to enjoy a broad range of leisure and recreational activities, dress well, replace household goods as necessary, run a reliable car, travel domestically and abroad and maintain private health insurance.

Single Australians need retirement savings of $545,000 and couples $640,000 in order to achieve a comfortable retirement, according to ASFA's March 2019 Retirement Standard

Taking action to maximise your balance during your working years, by consolidating your super accounts, making additional contributions and selecting an account with low fees can get you closer to achieving your lifestyle goals after you retire.

Want to know more?

Knowledge is power. Educating yourself about your retirement savings is one of the smartest financial choices you can make, for yourself and your family. Find out more about the super fees on your ANZ Smart Choice Super account.

Why it pays to compare super fund fees

Explore how Superannuation can work for you

If you're looking for a super solution that's easy to take care of consider ANZ Smart Choice Super

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OnePath Custodians Pty Limited (OPC) ABN 12 008 508 496, AFSL 238346, RSE L0000673 is the trustee of the Retirement Portfolio Service (ABN 61 808 189 263, RSE R1000986) (Fund) and issuer of the interests in “ANZ Smart Choice Super”, a suite of products consisting of ANZ Smart Choice Super, ANZ Smart Choice Super for employers and their employees and ANZ Smart Choice Super for QBE Management Services Pty Ltd and their employees. OPC is part of the Insignia Financial Group of companies, comprising Insignia Financial Limited ABN 49 100 103 722 and its related bodies corporate (Insignia Financial Group).

ANZ Smart Choice Super is issued by OPC, and the ANZ Smart Choice Super and Pension product is distributed by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) (ABN 11 005 357 522). ANZ is an authorised deposit taking institution (Bank) under the Banking Act 1959 (Cth). OPC is the issuer of this product but is not a Bank. Except as described in the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, the obligations of OPC are not deposits or liabilities of ANZ or its related group companies. None of them stands behind or guarantees the issuer or the capital or performance of any investment. Such investment is subject to investment risk, including possible repayment delays and loss of income and principal invested. Returns can go up and down. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

This information is subject to change. You should read the relevant ANZ Financial Services Guide (FSG), PDS, product and other updates (for open and closed products) available at and consider whether the product is right for you before making a decision to acquire, or to continue to hold the product. Updated information will be available free of charge by calling Customer Services on 13 12 87.

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