A hundred-fold gap in annual performance exists between the best and worst performing large superannuation funds, the Australian Prudential Authority’s annual superannuation statistics released yesterday have revealed.
The corporate superannuation fund for employees of Goldman Sachs and JBWere was the best performing fund, with a 10-year average annual return of 10.1%. On the other end of the spectrum, Progress Super Fund, a fund for bookies, saw average annual returns over the past 10 years of just 0.1%.
In the past year, when average returns for the financial year were 13.7%, the bankers at Goldman Sachs saw their balances go up a staggering 24.9%. This made it a significant outlier – it was the only fund to see returns over 20%, though the Victorian Independent Schools Superannuation Fund came close with a return of 19.2%.
This year saw the highest average returns since before the global financial crisis. In 2006-7, the best year of the past 10 years, returns were 15.7%. The 10-year average return according to APRA is 6%, reflecting the fact that the 2008 and 2009 financial years saw significantly negative superannuation returns. In the 2009 financial year, average returns were minus 11.5%.
APRA’s figures also showed superannuation payouts had hit a record $75 billion, as increasing numbers of baby boomers began drawing on their superannuation to fund their retirement.
The rate of contributions slowed 2% to $115.3 billion in the financial year, with $77.5 billion of this being compulsory contributions with another $36.5 billion being deposited by members voluntarily. Other contributions, including those by government, contributed $1.3 billion to the figure.
Despite the fall in contributions, assets in the sector rose to a record $1.6 trillion, up $219 billion from 2012.