‘Remarkable’ super fund performance caps a year of turmoil

Sunsuper and Suncorp’s multi-manager funds were among the top 10 superannuation growth funds last year with both producing returns above 15 per cent, according to Chant West.

Jan 20, 2022, updated Jan 20, 2022
Retirement costs have continued to increase:(Image Unsplash)

Retirement costs have continued to increase:(Image Unsplash)

The overall performance of super funds for the year was described as remarkable by Chant West’s senior investment research manager Mano Mohankumar because it defied the concerns arising from Covid and the subsequent lockdowns.

Hostplus’s balanced fund topped the charts with a 19.1 per cent return while Sunsuper’s balanced fund came in second with 16.5 per cent. Suncorp’s multi-manager growth fund was sixth with 15.2 per cent. Suncorp’s balanced fund was also was in the top 10 funds for performance over the past decade with 10.2 per cent.

Monhanhumar said since 1992 super funds had provided a real return (above inflation) of 5.8 per cent a year, significantly above the 3.5 per cent target.

“Even looking at the past 20 years, which includes three major market downturns (the tech wreck of 2002-2003, the GFC of 2007-2009 and Covid 9n 2020) super funds have returned 7.1 per cent, which is comfortably ahead of the typical objective,” he said.

“The experience of the past two years highlights the resilience of super funds’ portfolios and their ability to limit the damage when markets are weak but still capture upside when markets perform strongly.”

The median growth fund returned 13.4 per cent and even the worst performer in the growth category, where most Australians have their funds invested, delivered a respectable 10 per cent.

“A year ago, we were marvelling at how funds had managed to deliver a positive return despite the carnage in financial markets in February and March 2020 as the Covid crisis unfolded,” he said.

“Since the market low point in March 2020, growth funds have surged an astonishing 31 per cent, which now sees them sitting 16 per cent higher than the pre-Covid crisis peak that was reached in January 2020.”

Sunsuper will merge with QSuper next month to create the $200 billion Australian Retirement Trust. Ther merged fund is expected to have one of the lowest management fees nationally.




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