Top performing year for super funds

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Last year was a top performing year for superannuation funds, according to superannuation researcher SuperRatings.

Based on the research house’s estimates, the median superannuation balanced option was up 15.5% for 2013 – the best performing year since SuperRatings began tracking this index in 2000.   

Median superannuation balanced options give exposure to growth style assets of between 60% and 76%. According to SuperRatings, around 60% to 70% of Australians who are part of major funds are invested in their funds’ default investment option, which in most cases is the balanced investment option.

The research showed despite a poor start, super funds recorded a gain of around 0.9% for December.

The performance of listed equity markets was the key driver of this recovery in the second half of December, SuperRatings said. Both Australian and international equity markets recovered strongly to finish positive for the month.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed higher in five out of the last seven trading days to end the year, and finished December up 0.6%.

Markets across the globe also recovered strongly, with the MSCI World ex Australia Index recording a 2.1% gain for the month.

The fall in the Australian dollar over the month also helped international equity returns for those funds that remain in an unhedged position, SuperRatings said.