The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) today released its Annual Superannuation Bulletin with figures for the financial year to 30 June 2008. Total superannuation assets fell over that year by $25.1 billion, or 2.1 per cent, to $1.17 trillion.
Small funds, which have fewer than five members, were the only funds to experience an increase in assets over the year, with 6.7 per cent growth to $361.3 billion. Corporate funds' assets fell by 10.1 per cent to $62.1 billion, retail funds' assets by 7.2 per cent to $343.3 billion, public sector funds by 3.9 per cent to $170.6 billion, and industry funds by 0.2 per cent to $197.0 billion.
The Bulletin now includes a 10-year trend of return on assets (ROA) and key financial performance items by fund type. ROA represents the net earnings of superannuation assets towards funding members' benefits. From 1999 to 2008, the average ROA for superannuation entities, excluding small funds, was 5.2 per cent. For the year to 30 June 2008, the ROA was -7.8 per cent. Corporate funds had an ROA of -5.3 per cent, followed by public sector funds with -5.7 per cent, industry funds with -5.9 per cent and retail funds with -10.3 per cent.
The Bulletin now also includes an estimate of the total breakdown of retirement benefits, as either accumulation or defined benefit. Excluding small funds, total retirement benefits in accumulation are estimated as 80.1 per cent or $618.9 billion at 30 June 2008, with 19.9 per cent or $154.1 billion in defined benefit.
For the year to 30 June 2008, contributions to all superannuation entities totalled $120.4 billion, with employers contributing $69.4 billion and members contributing $49.8 billion. Other contributions, including spouse contributions and government co-contributions, totalled $1.3 billion. Excluding small funds, contributions totalled $83.2 billion, of which retail funds received 41.8 per cent ($34.8 billion), industry funds 28.4 per cent ($23.6 billion), public sector funds 25.0 per cent ($20.8 billion) and corporate funds 4.8 per cent ($4.0 billion).