Exposure to infrastructure assets is the only major differentiator when it comes to the asset allocations of industry superannuation and their retail counterparts, according to the latest data released by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).
The data, covering the September quarter, confirms that retail funds only narrowly allocate more towards equities, fixed income and cash but are substantially behind industry funds where infrastructure is concerned.
However, the APRA data also pointed to the fact that superannuation may not have been a stellar investment option over the past two years, with the data pointing to declining rates of return since about the middle of 2017.
APRA revealed an annual industry-wide rate of return for superannuation funds for the year ended September, 2019, of 7.4% and noted that the five year annualised rate of return to September was 7.4%. This compares to rates slightly over 9% in the first half of 2017.
APRA said that over the September 2019 quarter, total assets increased by 2.3% (or $47.1 billion) to $2.1 trillion.
As at the end of the September 2019 quarter, 50.9% of the $1.9 trillion investments were invested in equities, with 24.5% in international listed equities, 22.2% in Australian listed equities and 4.1% in unlisted equities.
It said that fixed income and cash investments accounted for 31.4% of investments, with 21.8% in fixed income and 9.6% in cash. Property and infrastructure accounted for 14.2% of investments while other assets, including hedge funds and commodities, accounted for 3.5%.