Latest Superannuation figures show big difference

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APRA have released their Superannuation Fund-level Rates of Return publication, which contains whole-of-fund rates of return (ROR) for the 200 largest APRA-regulated funds.

The top three performing super funds in Australia were corporate funds run for in-house employees, with Goldman Sachs taking the number one spot.

Their funds had a return of 9% since 2004; the next closest was CBA’s staff fund at 7.8%.

Super funds had average returns of just 0.5% in the year to June 2012.

Retail funds significantly underperformed with 10-year returns of 3.4% per year. This is down from public sector funds of 5.5% and union-linked industry funds of 5.1%. In-house corporate funds averaged 4.8%.

Despite weaker returns over nine years, retail funds had positive figures in the past five years, with Challenger’s Retirement Fund the top performer at 4.7% per year and Newcastle’s Permanent Superannuation plan at 3.7%.

Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees chief executive Fiona Reynolds represents the not-for-profit sector and told the Sydney Morning Herald the gap between the retail funds and non-profits was ''nothing to be sneezed at''.

''Over a 30 to 40-year working life of superannuation contributions, an outperformance of 1 or 2 per cent every year can make a very big difference to an individual's retirement outcome,'' said Reynolds.

Find the full publication here.

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