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Types of super funds

Get to know your fund better

Page reading time: 5 minutes

When you start a job, you can usually choose a super fund or let your employer choose for you.

Understanding the basics can help you work out what kind of account to get and whether it's right for you.

If you want to choose your own — or change your account — there are plenty of options.

MySuper or choice super

In Australia, your super can be paid into a MySuper or choice super account. Check with your super fund if you're not sure what type of account you have.


Most super funds offer a simple, low-fee option, called a MySuper product. This is the default product your employer will use for you unless you choose a different option. 

MySuper accounts generally have either a 'single diversified' or a 'lifecycle' investment option.

Even if you've already chosen a super investment option within your existing fund, you can choose to move to a MySuper option.

Choice super

Super funds also offer a range of ways to invest your money in super, including pre-mixed investment options in assets such as shares and property.

These investment options are called 'choice' super products. You actively make a choice about where your super in invested, rather than going with the default MySuper option.

For help choosing investments in your super, see super investment options.

Accumulation or defined benefit funds

There are two kinds of super funds: accumulation funds and defined benefit funds. Most super funds are accumulation funds.

Accumulation funds

In an accumulation fund, your money grows or 'accumulates' over time.

The value of your super depends on:

Defined benefit funds

In a defined benefit fund, your retirement benefit is determined by a formula instead of being based on investment return.

Most defined benefit funds are corporate or public sector funds. Many are now closed to new members.

Typically, your benefit is calculated using:

If you're thinking about leaving a defined benefit fund, get professional advice. Some funds are very generous, so make sure you'll be better off. If you leave, you can't rejoin.


Super fund categories

Most super funds fall into one of the following categories: retail, industry, public sector or corporate.

Retail super funds

Retail funds are usually run by banks or investment companies. Anyone can join.

Main features:

Industry super funds

Anyone can join the bigger industry funds. Smaller funds may only be open to people working in a certain industry, for example, health.

Main features:

Public sector super funds

Public sector funds are for government employees.

Main features:

Corporate super funds

A corporate fund is arranged by an employer for their employees.

Some large companies operate a corporate fund under a board of trustees who they appoint. Other corporate funds are operated by a retail or industry fund, but are only available to that company's employees.

Main features:

Self-managed super funds

To weigh up the pros and cons of managing your own super fund, see self-managed super funds.