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Important: Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. The returns that super funds achieve will change over time and readers should continue to monitor their super’s performance.

All information on SuperGuide is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether any information on SuperGuide is appropriate to you before acting on it. If SuperGuide refers to a financial product you should obtain the relevant product disclosure statement (PDS) or seek personal financial advice before making any investment decisions.

In this article you can discover the top 10 performing Balanced super funds over 1 year and 10 years. We recommend that you also read our explanatory article Introduction to SuperGuide’s top 10 performing super fund lists which can help you understand how to compare the different risk categories that super investment options sit within. 

What is a Balanced investment option?

Investment options with a 41–60% allocation to growth assets are termed Balanced by Chant West, a research company that has been analysing super fund performance for more than 20 years.

Balanced investment options may appeal to people who want a more balanced mix of growth and defensive assets.

Many super funds label their investment options as Balanced and in SuperGuide’s research these investment options can have between 49% and 80% of growth assets. Investment options that have between 61% and 80% of growth assets are classified as Growth category.

Good to know

Investments such as shares, property, infrastructure and private equity are referred to as growth assets for their ability to produce strong returns over the long term, but they are more likely to experience volatility (and even negative returns) in shorter timeframes.

Conversely, assets like cash and fixed interest are referred to as defensive assets for their ability to defend against volatility, but generally cannot produce high returns over long periods of time.

How does a Balanced investment option behave?

In the short term, investment options in the Balanced risk category may experience more volatility than a Conservative-style investment but less volatility than a Growth-style investment.

In the long term, a Balanced-style investment option will generally grow more than a Conservative-style investment option but not as much as a Growth-style investment option.

Top 10 Balanced investment options (super funds): 1 year to June 2021

Super fundInvestment optionReturn
CFSFirstChoice Moderate16.2%
SunsuperRetirement14.7%
Energy SuperCapital Managed14.4%
MLCHorizon 314.3%
AustralianSuperConservative Balanced14.2%
HostplusConservative Balanced14.2%
SuncorpMulti-Manager Balanced14.0%
Vision SuperBalanced13.9%
RestBalanced13.9%
MLCCautious13.9%

Source: Chant West. The top 10 is limited to Balanced options with assets of $1 billion or more. Performance is shown net of investment fees and tax, and before administration and adviser commissions.

2020-21 was a roller coaster year for superannuation and the global economy in general, but the median 1 year return for Balanced investment options across the board was 12.9%.

Median returns track the mid-point of all contenders in any one category and are good way to add context to what you’re looking at. You can see the median returns of all risk categories over a broad range of timeframes here.

Below you can find the top 10 performing Balanced investment options over 1 year for previous time periods. Click the arrow below to see the top 10 for each period, or continue reading to discover the top 10 performing Balanced investment options over 10 years.

Top 10 Balanced investment options (super funds): 1 year to December 2020
Super fundInvestment optionReturn
SuncorpMulti-Manager Balanced8.0%
Vision SuperBalanced5.5%
BTActive Moderate5.2%
AustralianSuperConservative Balanced4.9%
CbusConservative Growth4.6%
EquipBalanced4.5%
CFSFirstChoice Moderate4.4%
IOOFMultiMix Moderate4.0%
ESSSuperBalanced3.7%
Statewide SuperConservative Balanced3.5%

Source: Chant West. The top 10 is limited to Balanced options with assets of $1 billion or more. Performance is shown net of investment fees and tax, and before administration and adviser commissions.

Top 10 Balanced investment options (super funds): 1 year to June 2020
Super fundInvestment optionReturn
Suncorp Multi-Manager Balanced3.6%
VicSuperCapital Stable2.1%
CbusConservative Growth1.9%
EquipBalanced1.9%
BTActive Moderate1.9%
AustralianSuperConservative Balanced1.4%
LGIASuperBalanced1.3%
IOOFMultiMix Moderate1.2%
First State SuperBalanced Growth1.1%
MercerModerate Growth0.7%

Source: Chant West. The top 10 is limited to Balanced options with assets of $1 billion or more. Performance is shown net of investment fees and tax, and before administration and adviser commissions.

Top 10 Balanced investment options (super funds): 1 year to December 2019
Super fundInvestment optionReturn
CFS FirstChoice Moderate14.0%
AustralianSuper Conservative Balanced13.2%
Mercer Moderate Growth12.9%
TelstraSuper Defensive Growth12.7%
LGIAsuper Balanced12.7%
First State Super Balanced Growth12.5%
OnePath OptiMix Moderate12.4%
LGSS Balanced12.3%
Sunsuper Retirement12.1%
Cbus Conservative Growth12.0%

Source: Chant West. The top 10 is limited to Balanced options with assets of $1 billion or more. Performance is shown net of investment fees and tax, and before administration and adviser commissions.

Playing the long game

It’s important to keep an eye on how your super is performing for you year to year (and interesting to see how other funds have performed), but for most people, superannuation will be the longest-held investment we ever have, and our lens on super should reflect that. 


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Longer-term figures are more significant because they incorporate the ups and downs over that entire period, and allow us to see which investment managers can consistently deliver superior performance, regardless of changing external conditions. 

Top 10 Balanced investment options (super funds): 10 years to June 2021

Super fundInvestment optionReturn
AustralianSuperConservative Balanced8.1%
TelstraSuperDefensive Growth8.0%
Vision SuperBalanced8.0%
VicSuperBalanced7.9%
HostplusConservative Balanced7.6%
CFSFirstChoice Moderate7.6%
Aware SuperBalanced Growth7.3%
EquipBalanced7.2%
UniSuperConservative Balanced7.2%
Legal SuperConservative Balanced7.1%

Source: Chant West. The top 10 is limited to Balanced options with assets of $1 billion or more. Performance is shown net of investment fees and tax, and before administration and adviser commissions.

Again median figures can provide good context. In the ten-year period to June 2021, Balanced investment options as a category delivered a median return of 6.9%. 

A small difference in performance makes a big difference over time

Although the difference between the top performer and the median may not seem that significant (1.2% per year), the difference builds up significantly over time due to compounding. We have developed the SuperGuide Super fees and returns calculator to help readers understand the difference the fees they pay and projected returns may make over time.

For example, a 25-year-old with $5,000 in super and earning $50,000 per year, paying 0.8% in fees and achieving 8.1% per year, could retire at 67 with a super balance of approximately $564,433.

All other things being equal, achieving 6.9% instead would mean a super balance of approximately $417,017 – a difference of $147,416, or approximately 26% less.

Below you can find the top 10 performing Balanced investment options over 10 years for previous time periods. Click the arrow below to see the top 10 for each period.

Top 10 Balanced investment options (super funds): 10 years to December 2020
Super fundInvestment optionReturn (% per yr)
TelstraSuperDefensive Growth7.8%
AustralianSuperConservative Balanced7.7%
Vision SuperBalanced7.6%
HostplusConservative Balanced7.2%
Aware SuperBalanced Growth7.0%
CFSFirstChoice Moderate7.0%
UniSuperConservative Balanced6.9%
EquipBalanced6.9%
LGIASuperBalanced6.8%
CareSuperConservative Balanced6.8%

Source: Chant West. The top 10 is limited to Balanced options with assets of $1 billion or more. Performance is shown net of investment fees and tax, and before administration and adviser commissions.

Top 10 Balanced investment options (super funds): 10 years to June 2020
Super fundInvestment optionReturn (% per yr)
TelstraSuperDefensive Growth7.8%
AustralianSuperConservative Balanced7.7%
HostplusConservative Balanced7.2%
UniSuperConservative Balanced7.2%
LGIASuperBalanced7.0%
First State SuperBalanced Growth7.0%
CFSFirstChoice Moderate6.9%
EquipBalanced6.8%
CareSuperConservative Balanced6.8%
Legal SuperConservative Balanced6.8%

Source: Chant West. The top 10 is limited to Balanced options with assets of $1 billion or more. Performance is shown net of investment fees and tax, and before administration and adviser commissions.

Top 10 Balanced investment options (super funds): 10 years to December 2019
Super fundInvestment optionReturn (% per yr)
AustralianSuperConservative Balanced7.9%
Hostplus Conservative Balanced7.7%
UniSuper Conservative Balanced7.4%
LGIAsuper Balanced7.3%
First State Super Balanced Growth7.2%
CareSuper Conservative Balanced7.1%
CFS Moderate7.1%
LGSS Balanced7.0%
Energy Super Capital Managed7.0%
Legal Super Conservative Balanced7.0%

Source: Chant West. The top 10 is limited to Balanced options with assets of $1 billion or more. Performance is shown net of investment fees and tax, and before administration and adviser commissions.

© Zenith CW Pty Ltd ABN 20 639 121 403 (Chant West), Authorised Representative of Zenith Investment Partners Pty Ltd ABN 27 103 132 672, AFSL 226872 under AFS Representative Number 1280401 2020.

The data provided by Chant West is based on information supplied by third parties and does not contain all the information required to evaluate the nominated service providers, you are responsible for obtaining further information as required. The data provided by Chant West does not constitute financial product advice. However, to the extent that this data is advice it is General Advice (s766B Corporations Act) and Chant West has not taken into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any specific person who may access or use this data. It is not a specific recommendation to purchase, sell or hold any product(s) and is subject to change at any time without prior notice. Individuals should consider the appropriateness of any advice in light of their own objectives, financial situations or needs and should obtain a copy of and consider any relevant PDS or offer document before making any decision. Data is provided in good faith and is believed to be accurate, however, no representation, warranty or undertaking in relation to the accuracy or completeness of the data is provided. Data provided is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced, modified or distributed without the consent of the copyright owner. Except for any liability which can not be excluded, Chant West does not accept any liability whether direct or indirect, arising from use of this data. Past performance is not an indication of future performance. Full details regarding Chant West’s research methodology, processes, ratings definitions are available at www.chantwest.com.au and Chant West’s Financial Services Guide is available at www.chantwest.com.au/financial-services-guide.

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