Superannuation fees, asset allocation and fund performance

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Australian Journal of Management


Superannuation fees have come under public scrutiny in recent years with the belief they are too high. We examine the determinants of fees and their relationship with fund performance. Superannuation funds with higher investment fees have higher allocations to asset classes that trade in more complex markets. For-profit retail funds charge both higher investment and administration fees than other funds. Funds with higher investment fees do not generate higher returns than the least expensive funds. These findings suggest that superannuation members may not earn higher after-fee risk-adjusted returns by holding funds with higher fees. JEL Classification: G11

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