What is Ethical Superannuation?

It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s always a good time to start thinking about your superannuation. Now while superannuation may seem like a distant, foreign matter, thinking about it at a younger age could be super (see what we did there?) beneficial for you. Ethical superannuation is a hot topic at the moment and we want to help you understand it! 

Young man sitting in a chair in a field with high grass

What is Ethical Superannuation? 

Ethical Superannuation is something that has really taken off in the past few years. There’s no doubt that we’re all trying to be more environmentally ethical in our day-to-day lives, whether it be switching to a Keep Cup for your morning coffee or actively choosing to buy and wear sustainable clothing.

We know that every little bit can make a difference. So, what if we were to tell you that you can even be environmentally ethical when saving for your retirement through your Superannuation fund. Crazy, right? Well, in actual fact there are a number of superannuation companies who claim to work in an ethical way on the market right now that would be worth looking into. 

As a young person in Australia, choosing a super fund that invests in making the world a better place is not only appealing but is also really important.

So how can your superannuation fund be ethical? It’s all up to where your super is actually being invested. Unfortunately many, big and well-known superannuation companies invest in environmentally unfriendly, unsustainable and unethical companies and products. 

What are Ethical Superannuation Funds Investing in?

An ethical superannuation in Australia promises to be an eco friendly investment. That is, actively investing into clean energy and sustainable companies, all whilst your retirement fund continues to grow!

Ethical super funds consider investments that reflect positive environmental, governance and social priorities and standards. It’s a smart way to save for your future whilst playing a role in securing a bright future for our environment and society. 

Ethical superannuation can be described as responsible investing. If you haven’t looked into what your super fund is investing in, it’s time to! If you’re not satisfied with what is being invested into – it’s time to change. 

So what are some ethical super funds? There are several around and can be described as super funds for the younger generation as these are the people who are actively decided where to invest their money for a better future.

Check out some of these ethical superannuation funds.

Note: We do not work with any of the following funds and do not offer any financial advice. Please do your own research and due diligence prior to opening an account and investing. A great website to compare super funds is MarketForces.

#1 Future Super

Future Super is an Australian superannuation fund committed to investing in a future free from climate change. They invest in companies with superior environmental performance and do not have any affiliation with companies connected to the fossil fuel industry, or any companies that cause harm to the planet. They invest in assets that will help build renewable energy and help to create ethical investments in creating a better future.

#2 Verve Super 

Verve Super is an Australian superannuation created by women, tailored for women.

Verve Super is committed to investing in sustainability and equality, specifically to support women, communities and the environment. They maintain that they have fair fees and competitive returns whilst ensuring they avoid investments that do not line up with members’ values. 

#3 Australian Ethical

Australian Ethical is one of Australia’s longest running ethical super funds. They continue to make ethics the focal point of their investments and believe in growing customers money whilst making a positive impact on the planet, people and animals. They believe in a shift towards a sustainable future which will in turn generate long-term value for members without any compromising returns. 

#4 UniSuper

UniSuper is an Australian superannuation that is committed to responsible investments for the future of its members. They stand by their competitive returns and low fees and their sustainable investments. UniSuper is committed to achieving net zero absolute carbon emissions and investing in a range of sustainable and competitive environmental, social and governance focused on improving our future. 

Apple laptop with green leaf in a glass

So, Why Should You Change?

You might have had a super fund set up for you by your current employer, or maybe from an employer a few jobs back, and that is totally fine (and normal) but it is definitely worth it to look into changing to an ethical superannuation if this is important to you. The benefits ethical super funds aim to achieve for society and the environment is significant, all while maintaining your retirement fund!

As with any superannuation, it is important to look into the financial return and fees of the fund. Remember to consider your superannuation fund’s return on investment, so the amount you’ll receive after fees have been deducted. Most funds go into detail on their returns and fees so do your research and compare! 

Ethical superannuation funds vary from investment approach and strategy, so check out what they invest in, and for how long you will be investing in certain companies as you age. Other super funds may be committed to ethical investing but it may not align with what you deem as ethical, or it may not be up to your standards. 

Some funds care more about increasing renewable energy and others are more focussed on gender equality and others may avoid investing in tobacco companies. Do your investigations and in-depth research so that you can make an informed decision based on your values!

Changing superannuation funds is also super simple and easy. More often than not it takes around 30 minutes max. Obviously it may take longer than this, as it depends on the fund you’re already with, or if you have to consolidate several accounts, but it can just take a few clicks and your retirement fund will be investing in a better future!

Our recommendation would be to really have a good look into each ethical fund that you’re considering. Contact them and get the entire low down about what they invest in and what the fees and returns look like. Go with something that aligns with your views and is also feasible financially. Happy ethical super fund shopping!