professional development

Ten best-performing super funds revealed

Jaclyn Densley /

Of the 10 best-performing major superannuation funds in Australia, the top three are all corporate funds run for in-house employees, according to figures released yesterday by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

Superannuation funds for staff at Goldman Sachs – with returns of 9% since 2004 – the Commonwealth Bank, with returns of 7.8% a year, and Worsley Aluminia, with returns of 7.5%, were the nation’s best-performing super funds.

In contrast, funds offered by banks and wealth managers to the general public and small businesses have underperformed in the past decade, according to the regulator’s figures.

A better result was given by not-for-profit funds.

The APRA’s data shows in the 10 years to June 30, 2012, the rate of return was 5.5% per annum for public sector funds, 5.1% for industry funds and 4.8 % for corporate funds. This compares to 3.4% per annum for retail funds.

Fiona Reynolds, chief executive of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees, told SmartCompany the APRA’s data showed those with their retirement savings invested in not-for-profit funds are retiring with significantly larger retirement nest eggs.

“This data confirms once again that, over the long term, not-for-profit super funds deliver best value for members as their demonstrated one or two per cent outperformance each year really adds up over a working lifetime of super contributions,” she says.

Reynolds points to modelling by rating agencies in 2009 which showed an outperformance of around 2.4% a year was worth nearly $24,000 extra in superannuation after 10 years to an individual on average weekly earnings.

However, she says while performance tables are a useful tool for consumers it was worth keeping in mind that past performance – particularly over a year or two – was no guarantee of future success.

“While members of funds that have consistently underperformed their peers may need to consider moving to a fund with a better track record, it would be unwise to judge a fund’s performance on a period of anything less than five years, particularly in this very volatile investment environment”, she says.

The top 10 super funds were:


Superannuation fund

Total assets
($ M)

Annualised
5 year
(%)

9 year
return (%)

1

Goldman Sachs JBWere Super

255

1.2

9

2

CBA Group Super

6871

2.5

7.8

3

Worsley Alumina

226

1.2

7.5

4

Tidswell Master Super Plan

63

2.3

7.1

5

Unisuper

32,627

0.6

7.1

6

Australia Post Super Scheme

6333

1.3

7.0

7

United Technologies Corporation Retirement Plan

277

1.8

7.0

8

Maritime Supur

3372

0.2

6.9

9

Catholic Super Fund

4481

0.3

6.8

10

Queensland Local Government Super

7216

1.4

6.8

 

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