We welcome a new series of articles from industry super fund, First Super, with tips to help you make the most of your super. This first article looks at comparing your fund against others in the market to check you’re in the best fund for you.

Step 1 – Compare Funds

When it comes to super, there are a few easy ways to help you stay on track with your retirement savings. This time we look at comparing your super.

Here are some quick tips on comparing your current fund to others in the marketplace so you work out if you’re in the best fund for you.

Check you can choose your fund

Most employees can decide the fund in which they want their employer’s super contributions to be invested. However, you may be limited to your employer’s default fund if your job is covered by a state award or industrial agreement.

Sometimes employers nominate a preferred fund for their employee super guarantee contributions, but normally you keep the right to choose the fund you want.

Understand the difference between retail and industry super funds

Industry super funds, like First Super, are not for profit. They are run only to benefit members, and have never paid commissions to financial planners / advisers.

These funds aim to provide above-average investment returns, while keeping management fees as low as possible. They also offer low-cost insurance cover for death, total and permanent disability, and income protection.

In contrast, retail super funds are owned by banks and insurance companies. Unlike industry funds, they aim to return some profit to shareholders, not direct to superannuation members. Retail super funds can also charge higher fees.

Compare the pair

How your super is looked after, and who manages it, can make a real difference to the amount of savings you’ll have at retirement. But it’s not easy to work out the long-term effect of both investment returns and fees on your super account.

Use First Super’s Compare My Super tool – www.firstsuper.com.au/compare/ – to see how your choice of fund could be impacting your super balance.

First Super is here to help

First Super has a team of Business Development Managers and Workplace Coordinators based around the country. They can visit your workplace to help to explain your options and support with completing forms, as well as providing general advice and running information sessions.

To book a call or meeting, or for any other super queries, contact the Member Services Team on 1300 360 988 or mail@firstsuper.com.au.