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APRA releases new superannuation fund-level performance data

Thursday 20 August 2009


The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has today released performance data for individual superannuation funds, covering the five-year period from 2004 to 2008.

The performance data for APRA-regulated funds — with the exception of small APRA funds, single-member approved deposit funds, exempt public sector superannuation schemes and pooled superannuation trusts — are published in two versions on the APRA website:

  • Superannuation fund-level rates of return presents three-year and five-year performance information on the 200 largest funds by asset size — which cover 95 per cent of members and 98 per cent of the assets of APRA-regulated funds — as well as eligible rollover funds (ERFs). This is available in both PDF and Excel format.
  • Superannuation fund-level profiles and financial performance is available in Excel format only and contains detailed data for each financial year from 2004 to 2008. The detailed data allow observers to analyse the superannuation funds across a range of measures (subject to privacy considerations).

The performance data come from annual audited returns submitted by the funds’ trustees. Performance figures are presented as annualised three-year and five-year rates of return, as well as rates of return for each of the five years.

APRA has released the fund-level performance data following industry discussions about the publication of more disaggregated data that looked at individual superannuation funds, rather than the industry as a whole or sections of the industry. The Government also requested that APRA consider how it might publish performance data at the individual fund level.

APRA has also published today its Response to submissions paper. This summarises submissions to the November 2008 discussion paper Fund level disclosure from the APRA superannuation statistics collection and APRA’s response to those submissions.

APRA Deputy Chairman Ross Jones said that the fund-level data will assist superannuation trustees and other interested parties to assess the relative performance of the long-term investment strategies adopted by each trustee for their funds.

‘We expect this whole-of-fund performance information will improve public understanding of the superannuation industry, encourage trustees to demonstrate that they can provide superannuation benefits over the long-term and provide better measures of the overall relative performance of their funds,’ he said.

Under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, trustees of superannuation funds must formulate an investment strategy for the benefit of all members of the fund. The performance data released today, much of which are available through financial statements and annual reports, support APRA’s objective to promote transparency and accountability.

Mr Jones added: ‘This performance data will assist in evaluating the long-term performance of funds and their trustees. The information is not intended to be used to assess short-term returns and that is why we present annualised data with three and five-year averages. The long-term is the best timeframe to consider superannuation performance.’

APRA does not currently collect investment option data from super funds. However, APRA is separately investigating a broader update to both its superannuation statistical collections and its publications. A discussion paper Enhanced APRA superannuation statistics collection, was released in May 2009.

Media enquiries

Contact Ben McLean, APRA Media Unit, on +61 2 9210 3024

All other enquiries

For more information contact APRA on 1300 558 849.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is the prudential regulator of the financial services industry. It oversees banks, credit unions, building societies, general insurance and reinsurance companies, life insurance, private health insurers, friendly societies, and most members of the superannuation industry. APRA currently supervises institutions holding $6.5 trillion in assets for Australian depositors, policyholders and superannuation fund members.