How to switch to an ethical super fund in Australia
Does your super fund invest in fossil fuels?
If you’re looking for a superannuation fund that avoids investing in companies that harm the environment or exploit employees, an ethical super fund may be the best choice for you.
Ethical funds invest our money in a way that benefits society and the environment. They invest in industries that create a positive impact on the planet, people and animals, such as renewable energy, healthcare, education & women in leadership.
Switching to ethical super, simplified
Most of us would rather eat a bowl of cobwebs than spend time comparing and consolidating super funds. That’s why we’ve made the task of switching super funds simple by breaking it down into manageable steps.
Schedule in ‘super’ time.
Set a reminder in your calendar to research ethical funds
Compare & choose.
Review The Responsible Investment Association of Australia’s certified top picks here
Open a new membership form online from your chosen ethical super fund’s website and fill in your details to sign up
STEP 4 Move your money. Fill in the super rollover form, and lodge it as directed. The super fund will do the rest for you!
Update your employer.
The final form! Get the change of super fund form from your new fund, add your name and superannuation membership number, hand the form into your work, and you’re done.
Head to our One Small Step app and choose ‘Take Action/Green Finance’ for more info to help you complete each of these steps, and to switch your bank too!
In just 18 months, One Small Step members have collectively shifted an estimated $4.6 million away from banks and super funds that invest in fossil fuels, by switching to green financial institutions with climate-friendly investment policies. This money is no longer supporting the development of coal, oil and gas projects. And we anticipate that this number will continue to grow as thousands more individuals take our free Green Finance program in the app!
Our recommended ethical Super Funds
We recommend these four ethical super funds and products: Australian Ethical, Christian Super, Verve Super, and Future Super.
All of these funds refuse to invest in fossil fuels and screen out other socially harmful businesses, like the tobacco industry, animal cruelty, gambling and weapons.
Australian Ethical, Future Super and Verve Super invest actively in areas including renewable energy, community infrastructure, healthcare and education.
The final fund we recommend is Verve Super, who is actually financially supporting our work. If you decide you want to sign up with Verve, use the welcome code OSS2020 if you want to support our mission to use behavioural science to help millions of people achieve net zero emissions.
We get a referral fee from Verve, so if it's a toss-up between this firm and another, you'll be supporting us by supporting them.
Useful recommendations & comparison tools
If you haven’t already done so, it’s important to first take a look through a super fund’s product disclosure statement online, and make sure you feel comfortable with the deal you’d be getting on fees and charges.
Because we’re not a financial advisor, we can’t give you any advice on this, but a great place to start to help you compare fees and other pros and cons of different funds is the Australian government’s MoneySmart website. Go to MoneySmart's website
Responsible Investment Association Australasia
It can be difficult to find Super Funds' investment policies and investment details online. The RIAA research clarifies information on ethics and return, whilst pushing companies for greater transparency. Go to RIAA's website
They independently assess super funds’ environmental performance. Go to Market Forces website
This (actually) helpful government guide: How super works
This lists out the financial info to look for when choosing a super fund
Responsible returns tool
Visit this great RIAA tool to quickly narrow down your options based on your ethical priorities.
One Small Step offers a completely free, interactive step-by-step guide for making the switch to a fossil fuel-free super fund (& bank) through its Green Finance program. From comparing banks and choosing the right one for you, to opening your new account and closing your old bank accounts, One Small Step shows you exactly which actions to take and helps you every step of the way. The program takes an estimated 2 hours to complete. 2 hours is worth it to move your money out of financial institutions that are still supporting new fossil fuel projects!
You’re on your way to clean super!
By the end of this One Small Step Green Finance program, you’ll have moved your money into a super fund that supports the environment. Plus, you’ll be saving kgs of carbon emissions each year!
One Small Step’s mission is to help millions of people minimise their carbon footprints so that together we can create a healthier future for our planet. You can download the app for free today to receive this free interactive course that will help you make the switch and join thousands of others taking small steps towards a better world. And remember, when you make the switch, be sure to very politely tell your existing super fund why you’re doing it! Banks and super funds are more likely to support a healthier future for our planet if they know their customers won’t accept it if they don’t!
Don't have One Small Step yet? Download it for free today!
One Small Step helps you every step of the way to living a more environmentally healthy life. When you download the app, you’ll receive a personalised roadmap that is tailored to you and the way you live your life to help you reduce your carbon impact.
The financial information contained here is general in nature, does not constitute financial advice, and doesn't take into account your situation or circumstances. Consider getting in touch with a professional advisor to access specific advice tailored to your unique situation. In the app, we also provide some resources on government websites you can access that help you to compare super funds and banks.