Cbus Super celebrates 40 years of strong long-term returns for members


1 July 2024


On this day in 1984, the Building Unions Superannuation Scheme, later renamed Cbus, was born.

Within the first six months, the push to sign up to the retirement saving fund saw 30,000 members join.

Today, there are more than 930,000 Cbus Super members and the fund has grown to $94 billion* in funds under management.

For forty years, Cbus has been focused on delivering strong long-term returns for members. 

And on the first day of the new financial year, interim indications are that Cbus’ 40 year average annual return will be above 8.8% (for the Growth (MySuper) investment option).


Cbus Super CEO message

Cbus Super CEO Kristian Fok said the Fund looked proudly at its record of delivering four decades of strong long-term returns^ for its members.

“Cbus has a long-standing connection to its members and their industries which began forty years ago today.

"Many of our members don’t call it ‘my superannuation’, they call it ‘my Cbus’. This personal connection comes from our history, with building and construction workers fighting to establish super for their industry.

“They acted on a long-term vision to deliver more dignity than merely surviving on the aged pension, securing an entitlement for an industry where workplace patterns can be broken and injury can lead to early retirement. 

“While Cbus has grown significantly over the decades, as an all profit-to-member industry super fund, our number one priority has and always will be delivering long-term returns for our hard-working members.

“The creation of Cbus was the impetus for industry superannuation funds being established in other sectors, leading to the multi-trillion dollar super system we have today.

"With our super system now an integral part of the Australian economy, we will continue to deliver for our members for generations to come,” Mr Fok said.


Cbus Super Chair message

Cbus Super Chair Wayne Swan said today’s anniversary was also an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the Fund for its members, and the history and strengths of the entire sector. 

“Australia’s superannuation system is living proof of the power of visionary public policy. Today, working people are retiring with life changing income security.

“Our superannuation system had such simple beginnings, with building and construction workers initially winning 11 dollars a week – nine dollars for super, a dollar for administration and a dollar for insurance.

“It all started thanks to the brave unionists who took industrial action, but ultimately, it could only be delivered by unions, employers and Labor governments working together.

“Our superannuation system is today worth $3.9 trillion and has undoubtedly changed the lives of millions of Australians for the better.

“We should never forget what we have achieved together. Working people hold investments throughout our economy. Our superannuation system is the envy of the world, a monumental achievement to acknowledge and celebrate today on the 40th anniversary of Cbus.”


Welcoming today’s Superannuation Guarantee rise

CEO Kristian Fok also welcomed the rise in the Superannuation Guarantee to 11.5% from today. 

“Australian workers will benefit from today’s increase by having significantly more savings at retirement.

“Our modelling shows that a 21-year-old full-time building worker earning $80,000, with a current superannuation balance of $10,000, is estimated to have an extra $44,073§ by retirement thanks to this increase.

“Supportive polices that boost retirement savings over the long term help more of our members enjoy a dignified retirement.” 

40 years and $4 billion of insurance impact 

Mr Fok also highlighted forty years of tangible impacts for members from Cbus Super’s tailored insurance offering.

The total number of claims paid across 40 years is over 47,000 and the total benefits paid is nearing $4 billion, at $3.932 billion#

Mr Fok said, “A defining innovation of the Cbus founders was the creation of an affordable insurance scheme that takes account of the hazardous nature of our members’ work and can provide financial security to members and families in difficult times. They saw an opportunity to create an alternative to passing the hat around to help an injured mate.

“With cost of living pressures, these strong figures are a reminder of the financial difference insurance can make if you are injured at work. Time and time again the insurance members have within super is what helps them and their families get through the most difficult of financial times.”


Media enquiries - Elisabeth Bowdler, Elisabeth.bowdler@cbussuper.com.au,  0412 112 374.



*As at 24 June 2024.

Since inception figure interim indication following market closures on 27 June 2024. Investment performance is based on the crediting rate, which is the return minus investment fees, taxes and until 31 January 2020, the percentage-based administration fee. Excludes fees and costs that are deducted directly from members' accounts. Past performance isn't a reliable indicator of future performance. 

^Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

§This is a projection for illustrative purposes assuming a 21-year-old worker, earning $80,000 + SG a year, works until age of 67. In this scenario of 11.5% contributions, the SG rate is assumed to increase by 0.5% per annum until the SG rate reaches and stays at 12% from 1 July 2025 onwards. Returns in the projection are in today’s dollars and adjusted for inflation of 2.5% p.a. and a further 1.5% p.a. rise in living standards. Results are shown at 1 July upon reaching age 67. The results shown are estimates only and are not guaranteed and should not be relied upon as a true representation of any actual superannuation contributions, retirement benefit or taxation as tax and other rules can change. The default investment returns of 5.75% per annum, assumed in the calculation, are based on the expected long term average returns for the Cbus default investment options - Growth (MySuper) over the accumulation phase. It is not a guaranteed rate of return. Administration fees and costs of $78 per year, plus 0.19% of the account balance per year have also been assumed in the calculation. Figures are correct as at 18 June 2024.

#As at 31 May 2024. Since inception insurance claims for Cbus and Media Super (since merger) number 47,347 claims and insurance payments of $3.932 billion.

This information is about Cbus and doesn’t take into account your specific needs. You should look at your own financial position, objectives and requirements before making any financial decisions. Refer to Cbus Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), Target Market Determination and Financial Services Guide for more information. Call 1300 361 784 or visit cbussuper.com.au for a copy.

Insurance is issued under a group policy with our insurer, TAL Life Limited ABN 70 050 109 450, AFSL 237848.

Cbus is the leading Industry Super Fund representing those that help build and maintain Australia. As one of Australia’s largest super funds, we provide superannuation and income stream accounts to more than 900,000 members (as at 31 March 2024) and we manage $90 billion of our members’ money (as at 31 January 2024). Our members include workers and retirees, their families and employers. As of April 2022, Cbus merged with Media Super and offers Media Super products. In May 2023 Cbus Super successfully completed its merger with EISS Super, establishing the Fund as the leading fund for energy and electrical workers in Australia.

Issued 1 July 2024, United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 as Trustee for Construction and Building Unions Superannuation Fund (Cbus and/or Cbus Super)) ABN 75 493 363 262.