01.Best super funds
The best-performing superannuation funds have been named by research organisation SuperRatings, with only two retail super funds scraping into the list of top 20 balanced investment options for 2013-14.
Telstra Super, a corporate fund, performed best with growth in its balanced option of 15.8% in the year to 30 June 2014. This was followed by growth in the balanced options of Intrust Super of 14%, and UniSuper and AustralianSuper with 13.9%.
Plum’s Pre-mixed Moderate investment option is the highest-performing retail superannuation fund at 17 on the list with growth of 12.9%.
Industry and corporate
Telstra Super also topped the list of balanced options over the past five years, growth investment options in 2013-14 and Australian Share Investment Options in 2013-14. The SuperRating lists of top performers are all dominated by industry super funds such as REST and AustralianSuper, although AMP SignatureSuper was the top performer in the International Share Investment Options with 22.7% growth.
Based on SuperRatings' index of the top 50 largest balanced options, over the 10 years to 2014, a $100,000 investment with no further contributions would have grown almost 90% higher, to $189,816. SuperRatings also found that although the investment would have fallen 25% during the GFC, funds have since recovered with 65% growth. In contrast, a member invested in a cash option would have $150,006 today.
Indexes outperform super funds
SuperRatings reports that equities are the key driver of fund returns but the fund managers struggled to keep pace with market indexes. Australian shares had median growth of 16.8%, compared to growth in the benchmark S&P/ASX200 Accumulation Index of 17.4% and International shares median growth rate was 17.6% compared to 20.7% for the MSCI World Accumulation Index in the same period.