Super fees eroding retirement savings

Retiring Australians could be losing more than $190,000 from their superannuation savings as a result of fees imposed by their funds over the course of their working lives, according research carried out by ING Direct.

With super fees ranging from zero per cent to 2.33 per cent a super balance of $50,000 could incur annual fees from $0 to $1,165, ING Direct said. The bank also found that high fees did not assure higher returns.

In the 10 years since 2004 super fees have fallen 0.42 per cent for retail super and 0.23 per cent for industry funds. This has been followed by a 22.6 per cent increase of passive investment management rather than active from 2011 to 2013.

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"Ultimately it comes down to value, and with the rise of passive investment strategies, high fees are becomingly increasingly difficult to justify," ING Direct third party distribution head, Mark Woolnough, said.

The bank also found little difference in performance between active and passive managed options.

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