Sticking to a bad super fund could leave the average Australian worker more than $500,000 poorer over their lifetime, latest research from SelectingSuper found.
The research considered an average employee's salary, fees and contributions over 45 years of a working life, while calculating the returns they could reap from various default super products.
A person who stayed in the lowest-performing MySuper option all of their working life would build a nest of $265,000 before they retired, the research found.
On the flipside, a person who stayed in the highest-performing MySuper option would have $832,000 when they hang up their boots. That's a difference of $567,000.
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This is because the MySuper options from different super funds can perform differently. As an example, the best-performing default fund hit 7.4% per annum while the worst one only hit 3.2%, over 10 years to June 2018.
The research was conducted by Rainmaker Information's executive director of research and compliance Alex Dunnin and his team.
"What causes the damage to members' potential superannuation savings is the huge variation between super fund returns. As a result superannuation may seem like an unfair lottery," Dunnin said.
"If you apply these differences in performance through a super fund member's 45-year working life, it has terrifying implications for hard working Australians who are relying on their super fund to look after them and help them save for their retirement."
"While the recent Productivity Commission recommended major reforms to the superannuation industry that should see Australia's poorest performing super funds chased out of the market, the good news for consumers is they don't need to wait. Switching to one of Australia's best funds is easy and consumers can do it today.
"But first they should check how their super fund is performing against industry averages across three, five or maybe even 10 years. If their returns are consistently below average it may be time to think about switching."
Rainmaker Information and SelectingSuper are a part of Rainmaker Group, Financial Standard's publisher.