DATABASE: How much your super fund pays its directors and charges for expenses

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Australia’s superannuation system is under pressure, being criticised in an investigation by the Productivity Commission and facing questioning in the financial services royal commission this week.

The Productivity Commission says Australians are being bamboozled by superannuation, losing them billions every year in high fees, low returns and expensive insurance.

Structural flaws, including multiple accounts and entrenched underperformance, harm a significant number of members, mostly young and lower-income Australians.

The following searchable database contains the details, as collected and published by the prudential regulator APRA, of Australia’s biggest superannuation funds.

Together the super funds, about 100 of them, have a combined $1.6 trillion in member assets. They do not include self managed super funds.

The database has details on how much each funds pays its trustees/directors as a total number, how much is charged for administration and operating expenses, investment expenses, and advertising and market spend.

APRA says the information it has collected on fees and expenses should be read as an indication only. More on that below.

Some of the costs are factors of size, with the largest funds having the largest costs for operating expenses.

The searchable database below was created using Tableau, and is best viewed on a desktop screen rather than a mobile device. (RSE stands for registerable superannuation entity):

(NOTE: United Super Pty Ltd is the Trustee company for Cbus, the Construction and Building Unions Superannuation Fund.)

“Information may reflect inconsistencies in reporting that should be considered when using the data provided,” says APRA.

“APRA recommends that users of the statistics exercise caution in making assessments or drawing conclusions based on the relative size of fees paid in the reference period. Fees paid may fluctuate in the short-term and it will be some time until a sufficient and reliable time series is available. Fees may vary due to other factors such as varying service levels offered. Total fees paid are not necessarily representative of individual member experience. Information on fees reported by RSE licensees to APRA may also reflect inconsistencies in reporting.”

However, APRA says expenses are generally understated.

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