Your home for profit-to-member Super
Join the leading voice in profit-to-member super
Our full list of member super funds
View the upcoming courses in your city
AIST's flagship educational program
SuperGrads is a professional development graduate program to help fast track your career
Listing of all upcoming events
The premier idea sharing and networking event for Australia’s $1.4 trillion profit-to-member super sector
AIST's annual Superannuation Investment conference
Research, insights and advocacy on the most pressing topics in super
Our response to changes in the political and policy environment
From AIST's governance code to practical guidance and toolkits
Bringing you insights from industry experts, with a mix of views from contributors and regular updates from the AIST team.
Stay connected to the latest policy news
Photo, audio and video content
Our mission, vision and values
Meet our team
Our board of directors, constitution and committees
News, insights and resources as they unfold.
Stay up-to-date with the issues affecting super.
A high level of confusion among members of poorly performing super funds points to the urgent need for a Government-sanctioned online tool to help Australians make more informed choices about their super savings, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees said today.
Releasing new research that suggests a large cohort of Australians are misinformed about how their super fund is performing and what type of fund they are in, AIST said it was time for the Government and industry regulators to develop an easy-to-use online comparator tool.
The research – commissioned by AIST and conducted by Essential Media – examined the decisionmaking process of members of bank-owned retail funds. It found that while many retail fund members were confident about their decisions, many were unsure as to how their fund was performing and one in four mistakenly thought they were in an industry fund. In a report released earlier this year, the Productivity Commission found that profit-to-member funds outperformed forprofit funds on average by more than two per cent per year over the long term. This outperformance was most stark in non-default “Choice” funds where there is almost $1 trillion investing, almost twice the money invested in default funds.
AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck said while standardised reporting had been introduced for MySuper default funds, it was difficult, if not impossible in some cases, to compare funds in the non-default (so-called Choice) sector, where there was almost twice as much savings under management (more than $1 trillion). Even in the MySuper sector, consumers wanting to compare funds often have to search across multiple fund websites for the product information.
“Many Australians are languishing in poorly-performing super funds with no easy way of knowing that their fund is a dud,” Ms Scheerlinck said. “In the 21st century, comparing super funds shouldn’t be that hard”.
The Commission also found that while most members were in funds that delivered good investment returns, millions of members were in funds that persistently underperformed, primarily in the forprofit retail sector. It found ending up in a poorly performing fund could costing a worker up to $400,000 over a full working life and even $60,000 for workers aged 55 who plan to work another ten years.
Ms Scheerlinck said while a robust default fund selection process directed workers into high performing default funds, this was no help to those in non-default or “choice” funds.
“In a compulsory super system, Australians should be able to access independent, reliable and easyto-understand information to assist them in making informed choices,” Ms Scheerlinck said. “Right now, this isn’t possible, and we know this is a glaring failure of our system.”
Super confusion: Key research* findings and themes
Click here for infographics relating to the findings
*Research conducted by Essential Media involving face to face focus groups in Sydney and Melbourne and an online survey of 529 member of retail funds.
Media contact: Janet de Silva 0448 000 499
AIST is the peak body for the $1.4 trillion profit-to-member superannuation sector which includes industry, corporate and public-sector funds.
21 May 2019