Best of the bunch: Australia’s top six super funds revealed

Nov 22, 2023
The top six super funds in the country have been revealed. Source: Getty Images

Almost every person in Australia is a member of a super fund. For people who want to switch funds to better suit their needs, however, the amount of options on the market now can get confusing.

So what are the best super funds for those seeking to fund their retirement? The comparison website Finder has crunched the numbers and unveiled the top six super funds in the country by category.

The Finder Superannuation Awards 2023 split super funds into six different types: low fee funds, balanced funds, conservative funds, conservative balanced funds, high growth funds and single asset class funds. They base their calculations for the best super fund in each category according to this methodology. All fees were calculated based on a $50,000 balance in the account.

First up is the low fee fund category, which focuses on funds with the lowest annual fees. The winner here was Hostplus Indexed Balanced. This fund had fees of only $122 p.a. It delivers strong long-term performance, returning 9.21% p.a. for members over the past 10 years and 9.33 per cent p.a. over the past 5 years.

Balanced funds are those with growth assets (shares) between 61 per cent and 80 per cent. Balanced super funds have more money invested in assets like shares and less on defensive assets. The Aware Super – Balanced Socially Conscious fund won this category.

Members can expect to pay an annual fee of $327. According to Finder, this fund has consistently delivered long-term performance, returning an annual average of 8.4 per cent over the past 10 years and 7.06 per cent over the past 5 years.

Next are conservative super funds. For this category, Finder filtered for the top fund with more money invested in low-risk, defensive assets like cash, fixed interest and bonds and less money invested in shares.

The winner for this category was HESTA Conservative. The annual fees for this fund were $362. HESTA Conservative has provided an annual average of 5.45 per cent over the past 10 years and 4.28 per cent over the past 5 years.

Then come the conservative balanced funds. Here, Finder considered fund options that had growth assets between 41-60 per cent. This award category is slightly more conservative than the balanced options. AustralianSuper Conservative Balanced secured the top spot here.

The annual fees for this fund amount to $367. This fund demonstrated a balanced approach to investment, providing an annual return of 6.74 per cent over the past 10 years and 5.04 per cent over the past 5 years.

For high-growth super funds, Finder looked at funds with 81-95 per cent growth assets. These funds invest the majority of the money into shares and very little in defensive assets. UniSuper Sustainable High Growth was the winner in this category.

The annual fees for this fund amounted to $296. The fund has delivered impressive high-growth returns, with an annual average of 10.36 per cent over the past 10 years and 8.48 per cent over the past 5 years.

Lastly, there are the single asset class funds. Single asset class funds have 96–100 per cent of the money invested in growth assets. Australian Retirement Trust – International Shares Index (unhedged) claimed the top spot.

The fund charges an annual fee of $192.40. It has offered strong international equity performance, with an annual return of 12.26 per cent over the past 10 years and 10.13 per cent over the past 5 years.

If Finder’s results have you contemplating a switch in superannuation funds to amplify your nest egg and fulfill your retirement dreams, it’s important to weigh your options carefully, ensuring they align with your goals and financial aspirations.

Some of the pros and cons to consider when switching your super fun include:


  • Improved performance: If your current superannuation fund is underperforming, switching to a new fund that has a better performance track record can help improve your retirement savings. A better-performing fund can help you achieve your retirement goals, particularly if you are approaching retirement age.
  • Lower fees: Many superannuation funds charge fees and charges that can impact your retirement savings over time. By switching to a fund with lower fees and charges, you can reduce the impact on your retirement savings, giving you more money in your pocket when you retire.
  • Better investment strategy: Switching to a new superannuation fund can provide you with access to a more diversified investment portfolio. This can help to minimie risk and increase returns, particularly if you’re looking for a more conservative investment strategy as you approach retirement age.
  • Additional benefits: Some superannuation funds offer additional benefits, such as insurance coverage, which can be beneficial for those looking for added protection in their retirement years. By switching to a fund with additional benefits, you can enjoy added peace of mind knowing that you have additional protection for yourself and your family.


  • Loss of benefits: Depending on your current fund, you may lose certain benefits by switching to a new fund. For example, you may lose access to a defined benefit plan or insurance coverage. It’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions of your current fund before making the switch to ensure that you’re not losing any benefits.
  • Exit fees: Some superannuation funds charge exit fees when you switch to a new fund. These fees can be significant and impact your retirement savings, particularly if you’re switching to a new fund late in your retirement savings journey. However, many funds have waived exit fees, so it’s important to check with your current fund before making the switch.
  • Higher fees: While switching to a new superannuation fund can offer lower fees and charges, some funds may have higher fees and charges. It’s important to review the fees and charges associated with any new fund before making the switch to ensure that you’re not paying more than necessary.
  • Investment risks: Switching to a new superannuation fund may involve investment risks. If the new fund’s investment strategy is significantly different from your current fund, it may not align with your retirement goals or risk tolerance. This could result in losses that could impact your retirement savings.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your financial or legal situation, objectives or needs. That means it’s not financial product or legal advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a financial or legal decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get independent, licensed financial services or legal advice.

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