The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) today released its Annual Superannuation Bulletin for the financial year to 30 June 2009. Total superannuation assets fell during the year by $66.4 billion, or 5.8 per cent, to $1.07 trillion.
Small funds, which have fewer than five members, were the only funds to experience an increase in assets over the year, with 0.5 per cent growth to $334.3 billion. Assets of industry funds fell by 4.7 per cent to $191.8 billion, corporate funds by 9.5 per cent to $54.0 billion, retail funds by 9.6 per cent to $304.7 billion and public sector funds by 10.3 per cent to $153.0 billion.
In the year to 30 June 2009, the average rate of return (ROR) for large funds (more than four members) was —11.7 per cent. Corporate funds recorded an ROR of —10.0 per cent, followed by industry and retail funds with —11.7 per cent and public sector funds with —12.3 per cent.
In the ten years to June 2009, the average ROR for large funds was 3.4 per cent per annum.
For the year to 30 June 2009, contributions to all superannuation entities totalled $112.2 billion, with employers contributing $71.1 billion and members $39.9 billion. Contributions to large funds totalled $76.9 billion, of which retail funds received 36.8 per cent ($28.2 billion), industry funds 31.1 per cent ($23.9 billion), public sector funds 26.5 per cent ($20.3 billion) and corporate funds 5.7 per cent ($4.4 billion).
Total accumulation retirement benefits are estimated to be 81.3 per cent of total assets, or $571.8 billion, at 30 June 2009 (excluding small funds), with 18.7 per cent or $131.7 billion in defined benefits.
The Bulletin also includes, for the first time, features on member age profiles and on operating expenses. The feature ‘Member age, investment mix and fund performance’ examines the link between average member age and the financial characteristics of funds, including net returns, volatility of returns and investment allocation. The data show that within the for-profit funds sector, funds have essentially identical returns with near identical volatility across the full range of average member ages. By contrast, within the not-for-profit funds sector, funds earn more as average member age increases, with no material change in volatility.
The second Bulletin feature, ‘Operating expenses', investigates the relationship between operating expenses and fund size and fund type. The data show that operating expenses are driven by fund size in terms of assets and the number of members.
Refer to the Annual Superannuation Bulletin.