Public sector super fund members most satisfied

Public sector superannuation members are the most satisfied partly due to defined benefit funds, according to Roy Morgan research.

The 67.6% satisfaction rate was a record high, and self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) members were the second most satisfied, followed by industry funds, and retail funds.

The research house found public sector fund members’ average satisfaction rating for the financial performance of their fund over the six months to 31 January, 2021, was at 75.7%, followed by SMSFs (75.6%), industry fund members (67.5%), and retail funds (63.1%).

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However, members of retail funds run by the big four banks had a satisfaction rating of 61.4%. The top retail performer was Macquarie at 72.9%, followed by OnePath (69.8%), Mercer (66.9%), and Colonial First State (63.9%).

Catholic Super had the highest satisfaction rating among the industry funds at 78.5%, followed by Cbus (78.2%), followed by Tasplan (76.5%), UniSuper (76.4%), and CARE Super (72.5%). AustralianSuper, the nation’s largest fund by number of accounts, came in sixth at 69.5%.

Roy Morgan chief executive, Michele Levine, said the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on financial markets had a clear and immediate impact on satisfaction with super funds as a lot of individual super fund balances dropped during the market sell off.

“Then, in response to the overall economic impact of the pandemic, the Federal Government allowed Australians who were experiencing financial hardship (in specified ways) to withdraw up to $20,000 of their superannuation in total, in two tranches, before and after July 2020,” she said.

“Together these factors focused people’s attention on their superannuation, and their funds’ performance, to a degree that’s unusual, especially for those who are nowhere near retirement. And Australians have never been more satisfied.

“It’s not surprising to see public sector fund members the most satisfied — some members have the security of now phased-out defined benefit funds, while others receive more than the legally required minimum 9.5% employer contribution. As for self-managed super funds, well you’d hope their members were satisfied with performance since they are the ones making the investment decisions.”

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