The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has put a shot over the bow of former Treasurer and now Future Fund chairman, Peter Costello by suggesting average superannuation fund returns are on a par with those achieved by the Future Fund and many are outperforming it.
On the eve of the ASFA conference in Sydney, ASFA chief executive, Dr Martin Fahy countered recent suggestions by Costello that Australians might be better served by a national superannuation system driven by the Future Fund.
Outlining what he described as common and erroneous misconceptions about superannuation, Fahy said the reality was that on a five-year return basis and adjusting for taxation, $1 invested into the Future Fund in June 2012 would have returned $1.67 at June 201 and that, comparatively, the average super fund would have returned $1.64.
“Scores of super funds have also performed more strongly than the average,” he said.
Fahy also pointed to the $900 million spent over the past five years to implement SuperStream and said this had ultimately been funded by superannuants meaning that nationalisation of the super system would represent a waste of their retirement savings.
Among the other myths ASFA sought to bust was that super was not getting people off the age pension, with Fahy pointing to the fact that in 1997, the take up rate for the age pension and the age-related veterans’ pension was 79 per cent and this had fallen to 70 per cent.
He said it was also wrong to suggest that Australians had most of their savings outside super with more than 90 per cent of Australians owing their wealth to owner-occupied housing and superannuation.