1. Super Statistics

Superannuation Statistics

Statistics issued May 2014

Download: Superannuation Statistics

APRA has released its March 2014 Quarterly Superannuation Performance publication. Only limited data was released given that APRA, following changes to data collections, will not be finalising its revised quarterly publication until 2015. Amongst other things, APRA no longer publishes aggregate assets by type of fund, such as for retail or industry funds.

  • Total estimated assets, which include the assets of self-managed superannuation funds and the balance of life office statutory funds, rose to $1.84 trillion at 31 March 2014. The increase is in line with expectations, given modest positive investment returns in the quarter and continuing net contribution flows.
  • The annual industry-wide rate of return (ROR) for entities with over $50 million in assets for the year ending 31 March 2014 was 11.5 per cent. The industry-wide ROR for entities with over $50 million in assets for the March 2014 quarter was 0.9 per cent.
    Comment: These figures are in line with expectations and with rating agency figures for a subset of APRA funds. The financial year seems set to deliver above average investment returns, not that we comment much about individual quarter of financial year investment returns.
  • Contributions to funds with at least $50 million in assets over the March 2014 quarter were $22.7 billion, up 9.1 per cent from the March 2013 quarter ($20.8 billion). Total contributions for the year ending March 2014 were $93.5 billion.
    Comment: Employment growth, wages growth and the increase in the SG rate in June last year all would have contributed to the growth in contributions but the relatively strong rate of growth indicates some pickup in voluntary contributions.
  • Outward rollovers exceeded inward rollovers by $466 million in the quarter.
    Comment: These basically are outflows to SMSFs. The amount is up on the previous quarter, but down around one billion dollars from a year earlier. Outflows to SMSFs from large APRA regulated funds appear to have eased off to some extent.
  • There were $13.4 billion in total benefit payments in the March 2014 quarter, an increase of 10.3 per cent from the March 2013 quarter ($12.1 billion). Total benefit payments for the year ending March 2014 were $54.6 billion.
    Comment: As the system matures more is paid out in benefits, basically delivering on its primary purpose.
  • Net contribution flows (contributions plus net rollovers less benefit payments) totalled $8.8 billion in the March 2014 quarter, an increase of 22.1 per cent from the March 2013 quarter ($7.2 billion). Net contribution flows for the year ending March 2014 were $35.7 billion.
    Comment: Contributions were up, benefits were up, but net outflows in the form of rollovers were down, with the latter contributing to the relatively strong net contribution flows to the APRA regulated funds covered by the publication.
  • The number of APRA regulated funds dropped by 11, to below 300 for the first time.
    Comment: There continues to be closure and merger of funds, particularly smaller funds.