How is your super performing in 2020?

People assessing super with a piggy bank

The superannuation numbers are in and things aren’t as worrisome as some savers may have anticipated given the economic impacts of Covid-19.

Industry research group SuperRatings assesses balanced super options from the major 50 funds in Australia through their SR50 Balanced Index. Across the last 12 months, Suncorp has been performing the strongest within this group with returns of 3.8%. This was followed by balanced options from BUSSQ (2.5%) and Australian Ethical Super (2.4%). 

While the estimated median return sits at -1.2%, SuperRatings said the top 15 assessed options saw slim but positive returns.

However, these ratings don’t take into account smaller funds which haven’t been operating for more substantial periods and thus can’t report long-term returns (which is a key part of the ratings metric). When newer players were considered, Future Super took out the top spot with its Balanced Index delivering 5.52% growth in the last financial year. 

The social equality and sustainability-focused fund also took home silver and bronze, with its Renewables Plus Growth and Balanced Impact options garnering returns of 5.26% and 5.21% respectively.

Co-founder of Future Super, Kirstin Hunter said this data shows Aussies they don’t have to sacrifice financial gain to maintain their ethical standards.

“At Future Super we’ve long understood that investment in unethical businesses doesn’t just have a detrimental impact on the environment and society, but also represents a bad investment choice that will damage how comfortably Australians can retire,” she said.

SuperRatings executive director, Kirby Rappell, also reminded super members this kind of investment is a long-term game.

“Members should avoid chasing short-term results and ensure they are invested in a quality fund with the right investment strategy that is well positioned to deliver for their needs over the course of their working life,” Rappell said.

In SuperRatings’ ten-year assessment, the top performers have been AustralianSuper, whose balanced option has returned 8.8% p.a. across the last decade, followed closely by UniSuper and Hostplus. 

RELATED: How to build an emergency savings stash and leave your super intact.

Early access to super extended until December

It’s a particularly relevant time to be ruminating on the long-term purpose of superannuation, as early release super payments have now tipped over the $28 billion mark. 

When it was introduced in March, the scheme allowed financially impacted Australians to withdraw up to $10,000 of their super before the financial year was out. They could then apply for the same amount after June 30, until September. Last week this timeline was extended to the end of 2020.

While the aim of the scheme is to provide short-term support for those facing financial hardship due to Covid-19, its merits have been continuously debated. The argument centres around the idea that super is intended to be drawn on during retirement, and taking out funds early means the benefit of it will be diminished over time.

What could Covid-19 cost Aussies in super?

About $3 trillion dollars, according to finance research group Rainmaker Information. The group’s recent analysis anticipates this amount of foregone growth by 2040. 

The report considered Australians withdrawing their superannuation early, but also factored in rising unemployment, which goes hand-in-hand with reduced super contributions. Lower forecasted long-run super earnings, reduced population growth and other recession conditions were also part of the projection.

Alex Dunnin, the executive director of research and compliance at Rainmaker Information, said while super will remain a central retirement savings pool and boost the nation’s economy, the current circumstances must be managed carefully.

"Super funds are major investors into Australia's economy with their investments spanning infrastructure, property, purchase of government bonds, company shares, agribusiness, seeding start-ups and energy projects,” Dunnin said. 

“Three trillion dollars less in available capital could have major ramifications."

If you’re getting your long-term budget in order, take charge of your everyday savings with one of these high-interest savings accounts.

Compare long-term savings accounts today - last updated 16 October 2021

Search promoted savings accounts below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure
  • Boost Saver with Go Account
    standard interest rate
    Maximum rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    0.10% p.a.(for $0 and over)
    1.50% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Intro bonus rate of 1.50% for first 3 months, reverting to 1.20% after. Deposit $2,000 each month and make 5 eligible payments from your Go Account. If you are between 18 and 25 deposit $1,000.

    Enjoy a savings account bundled with a spending account. No monthly fees. New customers can earn up to 5000 bonus Virgin Money points on purchases (conditions apply). Benefit together with a joint account

    Details
  • High Interest Savings Account
    standard interest rate
    Maximum rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    0.25% p.a.(for $0 to $250,001)
    1.35% p.a. (for $0 to $250,001)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening

    Kick start your savings with the 4 month introductory variable rate. No fees, no minimum balance, no minimum monthly deposit and no minimum term.

    Details
  • Grow Saver
    standard interest rate
    Maximum rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    0.10% p.a.(for $0 and over)
    0.65% p.a. (for $0 and over)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Make at least 1 deposit and no more than 1 withdrawal, including internal transfers or external payments.

    Earn a maximum interest rate of 0.65% per year. Pay no monthly fees. Set up in-app savings goals. Benefit with joint account options.

    Details
  • Online Saver
    standard interest rate
    Maximum rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    0.35% p.a.(for $0 and over)
    1.10% p.a. (for $0 to $500,000)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening

    No account keeping fees. No minimum balance required. Unlimited phone and internet transactions.

    Details
  • Fast Track Starter Account
    standard interest rate
    Maximum rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    0.05% p.a.(for $1 and over)
    2.50% p.a. (for $1 to $10,000)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Ongoing bonus rate applied and 5 eligible transactions are made by the linked accountif in the previous month $200 or more is credited to the linked Day2Day Plus account.

    3.00 %P.A. Bonus Interest on balances up to $10,000 when the Bonus Criteria is met. Free withdrawals to your linked Day2Day Account while still earning Bonus Interest. Only available between the ages of 14 - 24 years.

    Details
  • Fast Track Saver Account
    standard interest rate
    Maximum rate
    Govt Deposit Guarantee
    0.05% p.a.(for $1 and over)
    1.05% p.a. (for $1 to $250,000)
    Yes up to $250,000

    Ongoing bonus rate applied if in the previous month $1,000 or more is credited to the linked Day2Day Plus account and 5 eligible transactions are made by the linked account.

    Earn 1.05% p.a. Bonus Interest in the following month on your Fast Track Saver Account balance. Earn Bonus Interest on your savings, with no minimum balance required.

    Details

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Savings Account Awards

Mozo provides general product information. We don't consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and we aren't recommending any specific product to you. You should make your own decision after reading the PDS or offer documentation, or seeking independent advice.

While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don't cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.