INVESTING

How does HESTA super stack up?

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About the fund

HESTA is a superannuation fund for people who work in and around the healthcare, medical and community-based health care sectors throughout Australia but it is also open to anyone else who wants to join it. It has been operating since 1987 and now looks after $34 billion on behalf of about 800,000 members. Reflecting the nature of the industry it serves, many of HESTA's members are women and combined with many of its female managers, top executives and trustees, this makes HESTA one of the most female friendly funds in Australia. HESTA's default MySuper portfolio is 53% invested into equities, 14% into bonds, 13% into infrastructure, 10% into other property, 7% into private equity and hedge funds, and 3% into cash.

What it offers

Hesta-super-fund

You can choose HESTA as your MySuper default super fund or you can join as an individual 'personal' member. HESTA offers another 10 investment choices meaning members can choose from 4 pre-mixed diversified choices and 7 asset class choices. It does not offer lifecycle investments or a direct share trading facility.

HESTA members can choose from a reasonable menu of life, TPD and income protection insurance plus they have access to fund-based financial planners and other benefits like discount home loans and credit cards. There are pension income stream paying options for retired members.

Independent commentary

HESTA is one of Australia's most consistent investment out-performers having beaten its market benchmark in eight of the past 10 years, resulting in its 10 year return being the 15th best across the entire superannuation industry. A HESTA member who invested $10,000 in their account 10 years ago would now have $16,200 compared to the $14,800 of someone who invested in an average fund. This consistency combined with its low fees, reasonable range of choices and no-nonsense approach is why it is a past winner of the SelectingSuper fund of the year and a regular category finalist.

Alex Dunnin, Executive Director of Research and Compliance, Rainmaker group

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Alex Dunnin is director of research at Rainmaker Information, publisher of Money magazine, Financial Standard and Selecting Super.
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