Negative performance weighs on Q3 super AUM

22 November 2023
| By Jasmine Siljic |
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Total superannuation assets saw a marginal decline of 0.1 per cent over the September quarter, but remained above the $3.5 trillion mark, APRA’s quarterly data shows. 

The prudential regulator attributed this to a rise in member benefit payments as well as negative investment returns in the quarter that offset positive inflows.

The rate of return for entities with more than six members declined from 1.9 per cent returns in the June quarter to losses of 0.5 per cent in the following one due to negative equity performance.

Quarterly contributions were $42.3 billion with $30.9 billion of that coming from employer contributions.

Research by SuperRatings has found median balanced super funds have reported negative performance for three consecutive months, most recently losing 1.6 per cent in October. It said this is the result of uncertainty around global markets and inflation.

However on an annual scale, APRA said assets under management (AUM) have grown by 8.5 per cent from $3.3 trillion in September 2022 to $3.6 trillion in September 2023.

This was compared to a 7.6 per cent rise in the previous quarter between June 2022 and June 2023. 

The annual growth in super assets was underpinned by continued strong contribution inflows and positive investment returns, APRA highlighted.

Some $2.5 trillion was held in APRA-regulated assets, of which $1 billion was in MySuper products, a rise of 12.7 per cent over the year.

Industry super funds held $1.2 trillion in the September quarter, followed by retail ones at $676.6 billion and public sector at $525.9 billion. Corporate funds held just $56.5 billion.

Additionally, total contributions for the year grew by 12.5 per cent from $150.2 billion in 2022 to $169 billion in 2023. 

In the same period, employer contributions rose by 13.7 per cent to $126.3 billion while contributions by members increased by 9 per cent to $42.7 billion.

Benefit payments saw a growth of 21.8 per cent to $107.5 billion. Of this, lump sum payments rose by 30 per cent to $62 billion and pension payments increased by 12.2 per cent to $45.5 billion.

Looking at self-managed super funds (SMSFs), these assets saw a 5.6 per cent growth from $837.5 billion in the previous year to $884.6 billion this year. 

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