Aussie super funds overcharging and underperforming

Many Australians are paying too much in fees for underperforming super funds, according to the latest Stockspot report.

The study categorised 3,820 funds based on the fees charged compared to their overall performance, with 638 of the worst funds receiving the label of ‘fat cats’.

“We believe Australians deserve greater visibility around where their money is invested and how it is performing. The conflicts of interest that exist due to the vertical integration of product and advice providers has led to a situation where poor-performing products often slip under the radar of consumers,” Stockspot founder Chris Brycki said.

Of the funds reviewed, ANZ was found to be the worst super fund provider, charging more than $142 million in estimated fees and having 239 of the worst studied funds.

It was followed by AMP with 81, Westpac with 63, CBA with 50, while NAB had 32. The five banks represent 74 per cent of the worst superannuation funds in Australia, according to Stockspot.

On average, these ‘fat cats’ charged 2.04 per cent in fees, collecting more than $777 million each year.

The report also noted that industry funds regularly outperformed retail super, with 8 and 17 per cent of returns respectively being lost to fees.

Mr Brycki said the system needed to be reviewed.

“Given that superannuation is the single most important savings pot you will have in your life, surely this is an issue that needs urgent attention from [the] government?” he said.

The federal government recently supported the proposal to introduce a national default super fund in a bid to combat fees.

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