Australia’s superannuation system is one of the world’s largest pension schemes. According to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), there were $2.3 trillion in assets under management as of June 2017. This represents a significant 10% increase in total assets compared with 12 months prior.
Interestingly, more than a dozen Australian super funds were recently ranked among the world’s largest pension funds.
The rankings are based on the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s (APRA) Annual Fund-level Superannuation Statistics, released in February 2017.
The following table displays a snapshot of the superannuation providers listed in the tables below that are also on Canstar’s database. This table has been sorted by seven-year performance (highest to lowest). Only one product per provider is displayed.
Please note that the performance information shown in the table is for the investment option used by Canstar in the rating of the superannuation product.
Performance is based on the investment option considered in the 2016 Superannuation Star Ratings, which is the option with 60-80% in growth assets; where multiple options satisfy this criteria, the option with 60-80% in growth assets with the greatest funds under management is selected.
10 largest super funds – by members
The table below displays the 10 super funds with the most members. Note that a single member can have accounts with multiple different super funds.
Number of member accounts
|3||Retail Employees Superannuation (REST)||1,960,282|
|4||BT Funds Management||1,211,172|
|5||Colonial Mutual Superannuation||1,176,852|
|10||Colonial First State||978,171|
|Source: APRA, February 2017|
In total, these 10 super funds have 13.5 million members. At the other end of the scale, there are certain super funds in Australia that have less than 1,000 members – one even has as few as 78.
10 largest super funds – by assets
This table displays the 10 super funds with the highest total value of assets under management.
|Super fund||Total assets under management ($’000)|
|2||Colonial First State||66,395,273|
|3||State Public Sector Superannuation (Qsuper)||66,126,312|
|First State Superannuation||57,092,316|
|5||Retirement Wrap (BT Super)||56,975,775|
|8||The Universal Super Scheme (MLC)||45,801,081|
|9||Retail Employees Superannuation (REST)||41,522,069|
|Source: APRA, February 2017|
These top 10 super funds account for more than $586 billion – roughly one-quarter of the $2.3 trillion worth of assets under management in the entire industry.
Does size guarantee good performance?
A super fund with more members isn’t necessarily a better fund. We recommend you also consider these five key metrics:
- Performance: look for a fund with a good long-term track record of delivering consistently high returns (see past performance disclaimer below)
- Fees: high fee accounts can take tens of thousands of dollars off your final retirement balance. That said, it’s important to consider fees in conjunction with long-term performance
- Investment options: try to find a super fund that suits your investment needs and risk appetite
- Insurance: if you’d like to pay for life insurance through your super, look for a fund that offers cover that suits your needs
- Online functionality: it could be worth looking for funds that offer mobile apps and easy online use – some super funds make it easier to check your balance and make contributions online than others
You can find more information by comparing your options with Canstar.