5 things you need to know about fees

One of our most important goals is providing you with value for money, because we know it’s one of your top concerns.

Here are 5 things you should know about fees.


1. It's easy to compare us, and our fees

Ever wondered how UniSuper stacks up against other funds? For a simple and straightforward way to compare ‘apples with apples’, visit our Compare UniSuper page.

There, you’ll be able to compare us—and our fees—to over 150 super funds and 100 pension funds by using Chant West’s AppleCheck tool.1

The best part? It’s free. If you’re a UniSuper member and you access the AppleCheck tool via our website, you won’t have to pay to use it.

2. Fees are important, but there's more to the story

The fees that apply to your UniSuper account are different from the taxes that are taken out (we pass those on to the Government). So when you’re reading your statement or looking at account transactions online, it’s important you break it down and understand the difference between each item. Need some help? Visit your local on-campus consultant, or give us a call on 1800 331 685, and we can talk you through it.

By the way—in a December 2017 survey covering the 100 largest superannuation funds in Australia by total assets, research company Chant West recently rated the fees for our Accumulation 1 default Balanced investment option the lowest in Australia for $250,000 balances, and second and fourth lowest for $50,000 and $25,000 balances 2. Food for thought.

3. Combining super can reduce fees

If you have more than one super account, multiple sets of fees and charges can potentially erode your retirement savings. Over time, these fees can make a big difference.

Benefits of consolidating your super into UniSuper include:

  • paying only one set of fees and charges
  • less paperwork 
  • access to our range of investment options, including our sustainable investment options
  • being part of one of Australia’s most award-winning super funds
  • tracking your total super savings more easily.

Remember to consider all your options before consolidating your super, like withdrawal fees your other fund/s might charge, and impacts on any other entitlements like insurance cover.

4. The impact of fees on retirement

Super is a long-term investment. This means that small differences in fees and investment returns can make a big difference to your super balance in retirement.

For example, if your total annual fees and costs are 2% of your account balance rather than 1%, it could reduce your final balance by up to 20% over a 30-year period (e.g. reducing it from $100,000 to $80,000).

Find out more, and see the impact of fees based on your own circumstances, by checking out the Superannuation Calculator at ASIC’s Money Smart website.

5. So, what fees do we actually charge? 

All super funds charge fees. What’s important to understand is what you’re paying for and what you’re not paying for.

We do:

  • charge fees and deduct costs to maintain your account and manage your investments
  • deduct premiums relating to your insurance. You can log in to your account to update your cover at any time.

We don't:

  • charge you for joining UniSuper and establishing an account
  • charge exit fees 
  • pay advisers commissions, this means they don’t receive payments for recommending certain products
  • pay dividends to shareholders.

Struggling with the fundamentals of super?

Why not come along to our Super Foundations seminar, which covers:

  • The core purpose of super
  • Defined benefit vs accumulation-style super
  • Types of contributions
  • How super can be invested
  • Insurance within super.

1Unfortunately, AppleCheck can’t compare other defined benefit funds with our Defined Benefit Division.

2Chant West December 2017 Super Fee Survey for growth options (61-80% growth assets). In the MySuper Default category UniSuper’s Accumulation 1 (MySuper) Balanced investment option ranked 8th and 6th for balances of $25,000 and 50,000 respectively. Chant West consented to the inclusion of the references to Chant West in the context in which they are included. Chant West's report noted the difficulty in making accurate comparisons between funds due to the different ways the funds report fees and costs. In preparing the survey Chant West made some adjustments to published data to promote comparability. The Fees Survey uses the fees and costs disclosed on each fund’s fee template, but excludes fees and costs from “Additional Explanation of Fees and Costs” such as borrowing costs, implicit transaction costs and property operating costs, as well as transaction fees, contribution fees and adviser commissions. Administration fees include fixed dollar member fees, percentage-based administration fees, percentage-based Trustee operating costs, and percentage-based expense recoveries.