Taking an interest in your super can help you plan for your future.

Shockingly, the ATO reports that almost 40% of us have multiple superannuation accounts. This means duplicate fees and duplicate insurance.

Consolidating your super into one fund is a quick and easy way to start managing your super. The question, though, is how do you pick the best one for you?

Two big areas to consider are the fees that are charged and the returns that the fund provides.

Fees are something that every fund charges to manage your money. The differences can come from fees associated with different investment options. Because managing property is more labour intensive, the related fee is higher than things like shares or bonds that require fewer resources.

It’s important to compare all fees to get a complete picture of the costs associated with any fund. This includes a comparison for the costs for different investment options you might be interested in.

Returns are a big part of how your balance grows. Because superannuation is about investing over decades, small differences in return can add up to a lot over time.

Now, past performance is not a guarantee of future returns however a history of strong performance can indicate good management decisions.

So, how do you compare performance? Most funds bundle investments into a package of similar things. Growth options are generally made up of things like shares and property whereas defensive options contain a mix of cash and bonds.

All investments hold a degree of risk. Essentially, risk is the chance that a mix of investments will either underperform expectations or actually lose money. Generally, the higher the risk, the higher the potential return. Alternatively, the lower the risk, the lower the potential return.

You may be confused because not all options with the same name are actually comparable. That’s why you should look at the associated risk profile, so you can compare them equally.

Making a change to make it easier to compare our performance

Because we have been a fairly conservative fund, we structured our investment options more conservatively to help protect our members’ accumulated balances. Unfortunately, this has made it a little more difficult to compare our performance to our peers. Our Growth investment option, for example, is more like a balanced investment option from other funds. And, our Balanced option is more like other funds’ conservative option.

It makes sense when you explain it however, at a glance, this makes it look like our performance lags behind other funds.

To help clear things up, we’re making some adjustments to the names of some of our investment options. This will bring them in line with industry standards, making it easier for you to compare our performance with our peers.

Previous name

New name (from 31 May 2019)

High Growth

Growth

Growth

Balanced

Balanced

Conservative Balanced

Conservative Balanced

Conservative

Conservative

Capital Stable

Socially Responsible Balanced

Socially Responsible

The name change doesn’t mean we’re changing the underlying investments. That said, we are always looking for ways to optimise our performance to improve your returns.

Not sure about your investment choices? We can help

Selecting the right mix of investments to grow your super is one way that you can make the most of your account.

If you’re a member of Australian Catholic Superannuation, you can get recommendations from a financial adviser for optimising your super investments at no additional cost to you.

Schedule a time to have a chat with an adviser.