Superannuation has been a standout investment for the past decade, with the top 30 funds recording an average gain of 9.2% for the year to June 30 and 6.4% over 10 years to that date.
Lists of the top 30 performing funds over one year and 10 years provided by SuperRatings show that many of the big not-for-profit funds are among the top performers.
Check below to see how your fund has performed.
The impressive thing about the fund performance is that the debilitating effects of the global financial crisis that washed through the system from late 2008 have been cleansed.
That means returns are building up for Australian workers.
A quick look at the effects of different return levels shows how fund members’ outcomes are influenced. The average of returns of the top 30 funds for the past 10 years, 6.4%, would turn $100 into $185 over 10 years without further contributions.
And 9.2% for a decade would see $100 more than double, going up to $241 without contributions.
SuperRatings chief executive Kirby Rappell said the average throughout the system is now close to 7% over 10 years currently and that means $100 would almost double to $196 in 10 years.
The chart below shows that for the top 30 funds almost all are at the 6.4% benchmark for the decade.
The speed of recovery is highlighted by the fact that at this time last year the average 10-year return was closer to 5%, Rappell said.
Dante De Gori, chief executive of the Financial Planning Association of Australia, said current long-term returns of 6% plus were “reasonable given what you get if you put money in the bank”.
“Super is a long-term investment, so you want to be thinking about maximising returns over time,” he said.
“Keep an eye on what the average fund is doing because it’s important that you keep up with the average. You also need to look at your own situation and know what’s appropriate for you.”
But to really understand how your fund is performing it is necessary to understand the fund itself. Most superannuation money is in the default ‘balanced’ option because most people don’t make active choices themselves.
Even if that is your situation, De Gori said you need to check out the investment details of your fund. Knowing it is in the ‘balanced’ category is not enough because “some balanced funds might have 70% in growth assets while others might have 50%,” he said.
Few retail, or for-profit, funds appear in the charts provided here but that is not necessarily because they are underperforming, said David Knox, senior partner at super group Mercer. As they moved to comply with new regulation around default, or MySuper, many retail funds have changed their structure to become ‘life cycle’ funds.
“If you join in the 20 to 30 age group you might have 80 or 90% of assets in the growth allocation, 75% in your 40s, and 50% between 60 or 65,” Knox said.
“We offer a life cycle fund and have submitted modelling to the Productivity Commission to show that it is an attractive option.”
Those funds cannot be adequately measured against conventional funds yet, but researchers will have the tools to do so soon.
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