Emergency Services & State Super (ESSSuper)

ESS Super logo

Emergency Services & State Super is a specialist super fund, providing super services for Victorian state government employees, emergency services workers and their spouses.

Who can join ESSSuper?

ESSSuper membership is restricted to employees (and their spouses) of specific organisations throughout Victoria, such as:

  • Victoria Police
  • Metro Fire & Emergency Services Board
  • Country Fire Authority
  • Ambulance Victoria
  • Rural Ambulance Victoria
  • Transfield
  • Metro Trains Melbourne
  • Department of Education & Training
  • Department of Human Services
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Primary Industries
  • Department of Sustainability & Environment
  • Vic Roads

Types of ESSSuper accounts

ESSSuper offers a range of accounts, some of which are available to all eligible members and their spouses and others which have restricted membership:

  • Accumulation Plan: one of two products available to all eligible members, who can remain in the fund even if they change employers.
  • Retirement Options:
    • Income Streams: One of two products available to all eligible members, which allows you to convert lump sum super benefits into an income stream in retirement.
    • Working Income Streams: Provides income for members who have reached preservation age but still want to work.
  • Emergency Service Funds:
    • ESSS Defined Benefit Fund: Only for employees of Victoria’s Emergency Services
    • Beneficiary account: available to ESSS Defined Benefit Fund members to transfer an untaxed benefit
  • State super funds: These funds are not open to new members.
  • Spouse Accounts: Spouses of members are also eligible to join ESSS Accumulation Plan, Working Income Stream and Retirement Income Stream. The fund defines a ‘spouse’ as someone you have a registered marriage with, or who lives with you in a genuine domestic relationship as a couple (e.g. de facto).

Some of the other features offered by ESSS include:

  • Default insurance cover for Death and Disablement in Defined Benefit Funds, as well as basic levels of death and Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) cover in the Accumulation Plan funds. As with any insurance product, consider checking the cover amount, any exclusions, limitations or other conditions that may apply, as well as the premiums you would be charged before deciding whether it suits your needs.
  • The choice to take out insurance for death, TPD, temporary disablement and income protection within your super.

How to join ESSSuper

Before committing to a particular fund, consider comparing your options with Canstar and checking out our choosing a super fund checklist. You can also read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination (TMD) for an ESSS product to help decide whether it is suitable for your needs.

If you decide to join ESSSuper, you can register and join online. You can then fill out a Superannuation Standard Choice Form and return it to your employer.


Who owns ESSSuper?

Emergency Services Superannuation Board is the Trustee of the Emergency Services Superannuation Scheme (ESSSuper).

How is my super invested with ESSSuper?

There are a number of investment options for ESSSuper members, which may depend on the type of product that you hold.

ESSSuper states that the standard investment options include:

  • Shares Only
  • High Growth
  • Growth – this is the default option if you do not specify one
  • Balanced
  • Conservative
  • Defensive
  • Cash

There are also two alternative investment options:

  • Basic Growth
  • Ethically Minded

You can choose to invest in one option or a combination of options. You can also switch investment options, according to ESSSuper.

If you don’t make a decision as to how your money will be invested, ESSSuper says members will be invested into the Growth option.

For more details on what each ESSSuper investment option entails, you can contact ESSSuper or read the PDS and other documentation on its website.

Does ESSSuper offer an ethical investment option?

ESSSuper does have an ethical investment option, called ‘Ethically minded’. The fund states it could be suitable for “members with a minimum investment time frame of 10 years that are prepared to accept a high amount of volatility in pursuit of high long term capital growth and are seeking exposure to companies that demonstrate leading environmental, social and corporate governance, and ethical practices, while avoiding exposure to companies with material involvement in activities we consider to negatively impact the environment or society”. The objective of the option is to “provide a return of 3% per annum after fees above the rate of inflation over a 10-year period” for accumulation plan beneficiary account and working income streams, and a “3.5% per annum return after fees above the rate of inflation for a 10-year period’ for retirement income stream”. 

What fees does ESSSuper charge?

ESSSuper charges a variety of fees to its members in return for managing their superannuation savings. At the time of writing, some of its fees include:

  • Investment fees, which may vary from depending on the investment option. This reflects the fees and costs associated with the purchase/sale and ongoing management of investments of the fund and underlying investment vehicles, ESSSuper says. For example, investment fees for the Accumulation Plan Growth option at the time of writing is 0.45% per annum, deducted from the investment returns and not directly from your account, according to the PDS.
  • Administration fees, which can vary depending on investment options. For example, administration fees for the Accumulation Plan Growth option at the time of writing includes a $52 per year account keeping fee, plus an administration fee of 0.25% per annum of your account balance, to a maximum fee of $2,120 per annum.
  • Insurance fees, if you have insurance cover through your super. The cost will depend on the level and amount of cover you have, your age, and the type of work you do, among other variables, ESSSuper says.

Bear in mind that other fees may apply. Consider checking ESSSuper’s PDS for details. You can also compare the annual fees for ESSSuper’s default investment option to other super funds’ fees on Canstar’s database.

Can I consolidate my super with ESSSuper?

Yes, once you are a member of ESSSuper, you can consolidate your super into one account with ESSSuper. To do so, ESSSuper suggests logging in to your member account, going to the ‘Account Consolidation’ page and to consent to a super search.

Before changing super arrangements, it’s a wise idea to find out how this change might impact your investments, retirement income and any insurances held in super.

What should I check on my annual statement from ESSSuper?

To help you stay on top of your super, it may be beneficial to check your regular super statement closely. Here are some of the factors that could be worth paying attention to:

  • Are your personal details up-to-date?
  • Are your nominated beneficiaries up-to-date?
  • Are the super contributions from your employer and/or your voluntary contributions correct?
  • Are your investment asset class choices appropriate for your life stage?
  • Are you happy with the amount you’re paying in fees?
  • Is your insurance still adequate for your needs?
  • Have you decided whether to consolidate your super, after checking whether there is insurance or any other benefits attached to the account you may lose and if you’re comfortable to do so?
  • The big picture – are you happy with your super fund overall?

Compare Superannuation

About ESSSuper

ESSSuper states that it is ‘one of Australia’s biggest super funds’ which has more than 132,000 members and $29 billion in assets (as at March, 2019).

It is a not-for-profit super fund for Victorian emergency services and state government employees. The Emergency Services Superannuation Board is the trustee of the Emergency Services Superannuation Scheme (ESSSuper).


This content was reviewed as part of our fact-checking process.

Written by: Amanda Horswill | Last updated: January 18, 2022