choosing a super fund

Choosing a super fund is a big decision. Like a lot of things in life, the more you know about how super works, the more confidence you have to choose what works best for you.

Welcome from CEO Debby Blakey

Debby is responsible for leading the industry fund dedicated to the health and community services sector. She leads an organisation passionate about making a real difference to the financial future of every member, while accelerating our contribution to a more sustainable world.




Your super is likely one of the biggest investments of your life. Deciding who you can trust to manage it matters.

I believe in the power of super to make your vision for the future a reality. To me, it’s more than a safety net for when you’re older — it’s a source of power: to make decisions and choices that will help you live the best life possible when you retire.

At HESTA, our goal is to help you see just how much your super matters. To believe it can help you face the future with confidence, while having an impact on the world our members retire into. To bring you dignity and freedom after a lifetime of work. To know you can do simple things today that can really make an impact on tomorrow. 

We’ve put this guide together to help you decide who you can trust to create your future with you.

You’ll find information on what to look for in a fund, the different types of funds, investment options, and how to compare performance between funds.

I hope you'll feel more confident to make decisions that can help create the future you want.


Debby Blakey, HESTA CEO




what to look for in a super fund



Investment returns and beliefs

Competitive returns on one of the biggest investments of your life.

Main benefit

Stronger returns can mean more money for retirement.

Strong long-term returns are how superannuation balances grow. An investment approach which seeks to deliver strong long-term returns and is guided by clear investment beliefs can help drive great outcomes. 

When comparing performance, it's the long-term returns that really count. Super is a long-term investment. Look for a strong track record of returns above their target over 10 years or more.


Compare returns




Fees and costs

Fees and costs can add up, so make sure you know what you’re paying for.

Why they matter

High fees and costs can eat into your super.

Fees and costs are a necessary part of super. They cover the cost of running the fund and managing your account, investments and insurance. Fees and costs can differ significantly between funds — so it’s important to pay attention.

Having more than one super fund can mean more fees and costs. Combining your super into one account can potentially help you avoid paying too much.


Find out about fees and costs





Insurance cover for death or disability.

Main benefit

Insurance helps cover you if the unexpected happens.

Many super funds offer insurance to help cover you financially in case you're temporarily or permanently unable to work, and to support your family if something happens to you.

The amount and type of cover you get is often different between funds.

It’s worth comparing cover and deciding what might best meet your needs.


Find out about extras




industry vs retail vs self-managed super funds (SMSFs)


While there are a few specialised super funds for employees of government bodies and private companies, there are three common types you will likely come across when choosing a super fund: industry super funds, retail super funds, and self-managed super funds (SMSFs).

Each type of fund has different ownership and decision-making structures, different obligations to their stakeholders, different fee structures, and different approaches for their investments. Knowing the difference between the three major types of funds can help you decide which one suits you.

Industry super funds

An industry super fund is owned and run only to benefit members. The net return — the performance of your investments after taxes, fees and costs are paid — is what ends up in your account.

Many industry funds are aligned with particular sectors — like healthcare, hospitality, or education — so they look for investments that aim to benefit people working in those sectors while earning returns for members.

Retail super funds 

Retail funds are different from industry funds in that they’re owned by banks or other private financial institutions — not members. They pay dividends to shareholders. 

When comparing retail super funds, it’s important to pay attention to the short-term and long-term costs of these fees, as well as where the fund invests your money.


Self-managed super funds

A self-managed super fund (SMSF) is a private super fund that you manage yourself. Managing how you invest your super is an appealing to many people — which is why some choose an SMSF.

In SMSFs, you make the decisions about where your money is invested, and you don’t have to pay someone else to manage your account. 

It sounds great on paper, but running an SMSF isn’t for everyone. You need strong financial, investment and legal knowledge to manage one — and you may even need to outsource some work to advisers (who come with their own fees). You can read more about the difference between major super funds and SMSFs to see if one is right for you.



see what an industry fund is like compared to the rest

Years of award-winning performance*, combined with our dedication to the people in our community — and beyond. This is what sets us apart.

*SuperRatings 10 Year Platinum Performance 2013-2023 (MySuper).

Investment choices

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† Previously named Core Pool. Commenced 1 August 1987 | * Previously named Conservative Pool. Commenced 1 July 1995 | ^ Commenced 1 October 2020 | § Previously named Eco Pool. Commenced 1 February 2000 | ‡ Previously named Shares Plus. Commenced 1 July 1995 | + Previously named Cash; changed to include Term Deposits on 1 Oct 2020. Performance history before 1 October 2020 based on Cash. Commenced 1 July 2001 | Ø Previously named Property; changed to include Infrastructure on 1 Oct 2020. Performance history before 1 October 2020 based on Property. Commenced 1 July 2001 | ± Previously named Global bonds. Commenced 1 July 2001 | # Commenced 1 July 2001

Average annual return to June 30 of selected financial year ranges 1, 3, 5 or 10. Returns are net of investment fees and costs, transaction costs and taxes. Rounding has been applied to the graph to the nearest dollar. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.



we're investing in the future. so can you.

We believe responsible investing is the key to long-term value.



how does HESTA compare to other super funds?

HESTA is the industry super fund that invests in and for people who make our world better, with deep connections to the health and community services industry.

We aim to make a meaningful difference to our members’ financial futures and the world they retire into. We invest in innovations that aim to deliver strong long-term returns and work for real world impact.

We’re proud to be a gutsy advocate for our members. We continue to use our influence to drive diversity, influence policy and demand fairer super. We believe everyone deserves the best possible retirement and we want to create lasting change for our members and those we see falling behind.

We have a long and proud history of delivering strong long-term returns. Over the last 20 years, we’ve consistently outperformed the average retail super fund — in fact, we were one of the first funds to receive SuperRatings' 20 year platinum performance rating.




Checking out the competition? See how they compare on these


Returns, fees and costs

All those small savings add up over a lifetime. If you’re paying too much in fees and costs, you could be missing out on a lot in retirement. HESTA is committed to keeping our fees and costs as competitive as possible to benefit you.


Care and protection

Most HESTA members receive standard income protection and death insurance cover when they become eligible. Plus, we offer fee-free insurance cover during parental leave.


Freedom and flexibility

As your life changes, so do your goals and priorities. The ability to change how and where your super is invested really matters. We give you easy-to-use online tools to let you choose where your money goes.


Help and empowerment

Looking after your super shouldn’t be hard. Look for easy access to your balance, investment mix, insurance options, and expert advice. With HESTA, you’ve got it all right here for you. 






we're one of the best in super


But don't just take our word for it.

HESTA has earned some of the super industry's highest accolades. We've been recognised year after year by experts on all things finance and superannuation. 



Best Superannuation Fund (Industry Super) has awarded us Best Superannuation Fund in the Industry Super category for our strong investment performance, competitive fees and costs, and outstanding customer service.



20-year Platinum performance rating

Independent super research company, SuperRatings continually awards us the highest rating possible — Platinum — for our products. And, we were one of the first super funds to receive SuperRatings’ 20-year platinum performance rating.^


^ SuperRatings is part of the Lonsec group. Visit SuperRatings for important information about this rating. Product ratings and awards are only one factor to be considered when making a decision.





frequently asked questions when comparing super funds


Your superannuation matters. It's your money, set aside to help you in retirement, so investing some time to learn about it is investing in your future - and the returns on knowledge are high.

People tend to have similar questions when it comes to their super, and you might have them too. To cut through the clutter, here are some answers about choosing or changing funds, managing your investments, and deciding what suits you best. 



There are a few things we believe are the most important to know when comparing super funds: their long-term investment performance and objectives; fees and costs associated with being a member; and insurance options.

Comparing each of these will help you determine what fund might be right for you, including investing in the things that matter most to you.

Super fees and costs cover the costs of managing the fund, your account and your investments. There's really no getting around it, fees and costs are a necessary and important part of super.

As an industry super fund, HESTA is run only for members. We pride ourselves on working in our members' best interests and keeping our fees and costs as competitive as possible.

We understand a minor difference in fees and costs can make a huge difference over the long term. For example, an increase of just 0.5% a year in fees and costs would reduce the retirement balance of a typical worker (starting work today) by a projected 12% (or $100 000).*

*HESTA fees and costs.

It's easy to find out what your current super fund is using ATO services through myGov. You can view details about all of your super accounts (including lost or unclaimed super) by logging into your myGov account, linking it to the ATO, and navigating to the Super section.

If you've never had a super account before, you'll need to choose a super fund. If you don't choose a super fund, your employer will create a 'MySuper' account for you with their default fund.

MySuper is a product approved by the government to be able to accept Superannuation Guarantee (compulsory) contributions from your employer. They're usually somewhere between balanced and growth-focused in investment strategy - so they aim for competitive returns over the long term.

It's worth taking the time to make sure a MySuper product is right for you. Like any super account, you should weigh up if the fees and costs, investment returns, and insurance cover of a 'default' MySuper account suits your needs now and in the future. If you're not sure how you want to invest your super or what level of risk is right for you, check out our risk profiler tool to get a better understanding of your appetite for risk.

If you're invested in a simple super account option with competitive long-term returns, you can compare the HESTA MySuper authorised default investment option with other MySuper products.

Super accounts are now 'stapled' to members. This means if you change jobs and don't choose a super fund, you'll keep your current fund and your new employer will pay super contributions into your existing account. 

'Stapling' is intended to stop the creation of many super accounts for an individual when they change jobs and don't choose a super fund. If you already have a super fund (or multiple funds) your new employer will be required to find your fund through the ATO. You'll still be able to choose your own super fund by completing a choice of super fund form (pdf) and giving it to your employer.

You can think of your super like a savings account - the more that's in it, the more it can earn. Combining all your super into one happy place can help you avoid multiple fees and costs from multiple funds and potentially maximise the return on your investment.

If you're a HESTA member, you can log into your account and find other super you might have to combine into your HESTA account. Before you combine, you'll need to check with your other fund/s if there are any fees or taxes for transferring funds, or if you could lose any benefits like insurance. You can also combine your funds through your myGov account.

Everyone's financial situation and objectives are different. Before you decide to combine, it's important to compare your options and consider any fees and loss of insurance from your other fund to make sure rolling over is right for you.






You can change your future in just a few minutes

Over 1 million Australians already trust HESTA with their super. Join us today to see the difference for yourself.

If you have questions or prefer to join over the phone request a call back.