Five ingredients of a great super fund

If you stay with the default super fund provided by your employer there’s a chance you’ll miss out on thousands in super. 

It makes sense to take a close look at your current super fund and consider whether your money could be working harder elsewhere. If you still have many years to go until you retire, there could be a way to add thousands of dollars to your final balance.

5 ingredients of a great super fund

Here are a few key areas to consider when you’re thinking about the best way to invest your super.

1. Types of investment

Most super funds invest in a mix of cash, fixed interest, property and shares. When you diversify by spreading your money across different asset classes you reduce the overall risk associated with investing your super. This means if one investment performs poorly over a period of time, other investments may perform better, minimising any potential losses.

The various elements are generally mixed in different ways to offer different levels of risk. They often have names like Conservative, Balanced and Growth and you can choose your mix to match your own risk appetite.

You also have a choice of what are known as single and multi-manager funds. A single manager fund is overseen by just one investment manager or trading advisor who may be an expert in particular asset classes. A multi-manager fund can deliver diversification by drawing on the expertise of a number of specialists.

Risk is important but, when you’re considering your mix of investment classes, there are other factors to consider such as:

  • your retirement planning goals

  • how much super you’d need to save for retirement to reach those goals

  • your age and how many years you have to invest

  • any other investments you have and the returns you can expect.

2. Performance

Small differences in the rate of return earned by your super investment can have a significant impact on your retirement savings.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to predict performance – and there’s no guarantee that a fund that performed well in the past will continue to do so in the future. However, APRA, the superannuation industry’s regulator, has developed a Standard Risk Measure to help you compare the risk of investment options in a superannuation fund.

3. Insurance options

Most super funds include life insurance and many add total and permanent disability insurance and/or income protection also known as salary continuance. The premiums are deducted automatically from your super balance and can be lower than those outside super.

When you’re considering a new fund you should check what cover is provided, whether it’s enough for your needs and, if not, whether there’s an option to increase the level of cover. You should also check whether you can transfer your current level of cover. This is particularly important if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

You can check and compare the details by reading the product disclosure statement on each super fund’s website.

4. Portability

With some limited exceptions, super funds give you the option of moving your money into a fund of your choice. This gives you more control over your super and also gives you the opportunity to consolidate all of your super balances into one account so you’ll pay fewer fees and charges.

However, you may want to check whether there are costs involved or if you lose some benefits with exiting a fund or switching investment options within the fund before deciding on where to invest your super. Also, if you intend to claim a tax deduction for certain personal contributions made into your existing fund, it’s important to ensure your ‘Notice of intent to claim a deduction for personal contributions’ is made and acknowledged by that Trustee before you change funds.

5. Visibility

Whichever fund you choose, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on how your investment is performing as well as any fees or costs. By law, your super fund must send you regular statements with details including:

  • your balance at the start and end of the period

  • details of deposits from your employer and any other contributions you may have made

  • how much interest your investments have earned

  • level of insurance cover

  • any fees or costs.

Remember that visibility works both ways – it’s important to keep your fund up to date with your current contact details.

If you would like to know more about where your super is invested, contact us today on 03 9553 0271.

Source: NAB

Reproduced with permission of National Australia Bank (‘NAB’). This article was originally published at

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Authorised Representative 298494
Interprac Financial Planning Pty Ltd 

Darryl Jopling

Senior Adviser

I have worked in the financial services industry since 1982 and as a Financial Adviser since 1999.

I have worked for large Financial Planning businesses, Membership based organisations and looked after the financial planning needs of clients within an Accounting Practice before starting my own business.

I am married, have 4 older children and a grandson and I am keen golfer with mixed results like many .

I have been through many of the strategies I talk with clients about myself and with my family.

I have been through the journey of seeing my parents move into Aged care and negotiated the difficulties and pitfalls of understanding the system for them and this gives me an excellent insight into what is required to assist families at this difficult time.

In a previous roll I used to run retirement seminars looking at Centrelink and Retirement Incomes and how to make these work for you. I have helped many of my clients with Aged Care advice when their parents needed to move into Nursing Homes. For many clients I assist them with superannuation, building wealth and protecting their loved ones with insurance.

I am supported by his, Licensee, Interprac Financial Planning’s in-house resources and ongoing technical, systems and training.

I am committed to understanding your needs and identifying strategies and products to help you achieve your goals.

My guiding principle as an Adviser is to design plans which help to provide my clients with clarity of purpose and the opportunity to build a solid financial foundation.
I will take the time to listen, explain things clearly and keep you informed throughout the advice process.

My experience is complemented by professional qualifications including:

  • Certified Financial PlannerTM Professional
  • Diploma of Financial Planning

At Choice Financial Advice we work with you along the way on life’s journey.

Whether you are getting married, starting a family, embarking on the trip of a lifetime, planning to enjoy your years after work or assisting elderly parents with Aged Care and Nursing Home placements, we can help.