Major super funds show impressive results since GFC

Members of the eight major Australian super funds have seen their money more than double since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) as the super funds have managed to rack up 100 per cent returns since GFC, according to SuperRatings.

In its report, the firm also noted that over the same period, the share market in Australia only advanced by some 71 per cent. Moreover, the funds' results were around eight per cent per annum ahead of inflation and were back on track to more than double the expectations.

However, SuperRatings stressed that the numbers were measured from the onset of the GFC, rather than from the end, and there were only a few funds that managed to post impressive results over both periods.

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The GFC also had a significant impact on Australians' investment choices, and as a result of it, the accumulation monies in balanced options dropped to 61.1 per cent from 73.7 per cent of fund assets in the six years after the GFC.

In the same period, pension assets in balanced options dropped from 56.2 per cent to 36 per cent.

Unsurprisingly, much of the pension money has moved to more conservative options such as capital stable, up from 11.4 per cent to 16.6 per cent, and cash, up from 3.7 per cent to 11 per cent.

On a positive note, as a consequence of the GFC, the funds and advisers have managed to better educate their members about choosing the right investment option, based on their risk tolerance and time horizon, while the funds's members have become more active with their investments choices.

According to SuperRatings' chairman, Jeff Bresnahan, Australia's eight major super funds managed to achieve what "was unthinkable just over seven years ago".

The eight super funds, which accumulated more than 100 per cent since 1 March, 2009 include:

  • Telstra Super Corporate Plus: 106.8 per cent;
  • GESB Super – Balanced Growth Plan: 103.1 per cent;
  • AustState Super – Balanced: 102.8 per cent;
  • Plum – Pre-mixed Moderate: 101.9 per cent;
  • CareSuper – Balanced: 101.0 per cent
  • REST – Core Strategy: 100.7 per cent
  • Rei Super – Trustee Super Balanced: 100.6 per cent; and
  • UniSuper Accumulation – Balanced: 100.6 per cent.

"At a time when scaremongering was rife, and Australians had seen their superannuation go backwards to the tune of around 25 per cent, most funds held firm and pushed the benefits of their diversified balanced options.

"Since then, not only is the median balanced option up by a staggering 86 per cent, but an elite group of funds have managed to accumulate returns that have compounded to over 100 per cent," he said.

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