Super funds recover COVID-19 losses

26 June 2020

The average balanced investment superannuation fund has returned a flat for the 2019/20 financial year, managing to recoup losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which wiped nearly 15% from the average portfolio, according to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA). 

ASFA chief executive, Dr Martin Fahy, said super funds’ diversified investment strategies continued to deliver for the benefit of members, amid hugely difficult global conditions. 

“It’s a remarkable feat for funds to reverse the significant losses anticipated in March and April as the Australian share market fell 37% from peak to trough,” he said. 

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ASFA noted that superannuation had also benefitted members in other ways during the financial year including:  

Around 2.5 million Australians will have benefitted from early release payments, averaging around $7,500 each and totalling around $18.5 billion; 

Funds paid out around $8 billion in insurance claims for death and disability; and 

Funds other than self-managed super funds paid out around $44 billion in lump sum payments and $42 billion in pension payments over the year. 

ASFA also said that compared with other countries’ pension funds, Australian super funds topped the charts. 

Australia dominated returns over the five years to 30 December, 2019, at 6.3%, and came second for 10-year returns at 5.8%. 

In comparison, US pension returns were at 2.1% for five years and 3% for 10 years. 

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