fees explain

When it comes to getting the most out of your super, the fees you’re charged matter. But what are you paying for? Let’s break it down.
There’s no getting around it, fees are a part of super. “But what am I actually paying for?” you ask, and that’s a fair question. Your fees allow us to manage your account and to cover the cost of overseeing your investments and providing your insurance. Because we work for your industry, we’re run only to benefit members. This means the fees you pay aren’t charged to generate a profit for shareholders: they’re charged so we can keep working for you.
Find out more about specific fees:
Administration fee
All super funds charge an administration fee – it’s how we cover the cost of operating the fund and managing your account. Our administration fee also covers the cost of providing advice about your HESTA super should you ever need to meet with a friendly adviser. (In other words, you don’t pay extra for advice about your super – it’s all part of being a HESTA member).
Our administration fees are made up of a set weekly fee of $1.25, and then a percentage-based asset fee. The percentage-based asset fee is charged on the balance of your account and depends on what investment options you’re invested in. For our default investment option, Core Pool – where most of our members are invested - the fee is 0.08% per annum. For all other investment options, it’s 0.10% per annum. The percentage-based asset fee applies to the amount invested in each option and is capped at $350 per year.
So, if you have an account balance of $50,000 and you’re invested in our Core Pool option, you’ll pay a set fee of $65 ($1.25 x 52 weeks) in a year, then the percentage-based asset fee on your balance of $40 (0.08% x 50,000 = 40).
Because of the percentage-based asset fee that we charge, this means as your balance grows, your fees increase until you reach the $350 cap.
Investment fee
Professional fund managers live and breathe investment returns. They can often be found getting their thrills studying complex candlestick charts or company balance sheets. Depending on what you’re invested in we charge a fee to pay professional fund managers who work hard to deliver strong super returns across our Core Pool, Eco Pool, Shares Plus, Conservative Pool and our other Your Choice asset classes.
The investment fee is an estimate of the costs paid out of the fund in relation to the management of investments. The investment fee is not something that’s charged to you directly but reduces the return on your investment before we calculate unit prices, and they are applied to your account. So, the returns you see when you log into your online account or check your statement are after investment fees (and indirect costs – which we’ll talk more about later).
Each investment option will have a different investment fee and is charged as a reflection of how complex it is to manage that particular investment. For example, our Core Pool option has an investment fee of 0.69%. While a more complex product like private equity has an investment fee of 2.15%.
We calculate the investment fee on the costs incurred over the last financial year. This means that we don’t know what the investment fee will be for this year until it’s over. We do this because that’s part of the legislation. It’s confusing, we know, but it’s part of the reason why we’ve put together this information. On your annual member statement, you can see how much the investment fee was for that particular year under ‘Other fees of your investment.’
The table below outlines the different investment fees:
Indirect cost ratio
“An indirect cost ratio?” you ask. “What on earth is that?” The indirect cost ratio is your share of the indirect costs of managing your investments. Indirect costs are not paid by HESTA, but are incurred within investments, like the transaction costs incurred by investment managers. It’s like stamp duty when you buy a house, or other settlements costs that may be incurred when an asset is purchased.
Just like the investment fee, the indirect cost ratio is an estimate based on the last financial year and is not charged to you directly. It’s a cost that reduces the return on your investment before we calculate unit prices and they are applied to your account.
Super funds have the option to include indirect costs in the investment fee or to disclose these as two separate items. For that reason, you may see some funds with just an investment fee and no indirect cost ratio. At HESTA, we choose to disclose them separately, so you can see what your investments are paying for.
If you’re in our Core Pool option, the indirect cost ratio was 0.13% for 2018/2019. So, on a super balance of $50,000, you’ll incur a fee of $65 (0.13% x 50,000 = $65).
If you’ve made a different investment choice, the percentage varies between 0.00%-1.20% per annum. The table below outlines the different indirect cost ratio fees:
Insurance fees
At its very heart, insurance is about providing a safeguard for when things go wrong. It protects your quality of life. The benefit of insurance through super is that we can negotiate a group rate with insurers, so we’re then able to pass the savings on to you.
At HESTA, we provide two units of death cover and two units of income protection cover by default to members when they join.* If that’s not the right fit for you, you can change or cancel your cover at any time.
The fees for insurance vary with age and will also depend on the type of cover you have – if you’ve elected to change it. You can read more about insurance in the Insurance Options guide.
Activity fees
We charge other fees to cover one-off costs for particular services you might use. The only activity fees we charge are for contribution splitting ($60) and family law account splitting ($80).
*From 1 April 2020, new members who join will only be eligible for default cover if they are aged 25 or older and their account balance is $6,000 or more. If you are an exiting member, your cover may cease from 1 April 2020 if your account balance does not exceed $6,000 from 1 November 2019. You can read more about these changes at hesta.com.au/staycovered

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