1. Super Statistics

Superannuation Statistics

Statistics issued May 2015

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Superannuation assets totalled $2.05 trillion at the end of the March 2015 quarter, a new record. Over the 12 months to March 2015, there was a 14.3 per cent increase in total superannuation assets.

Total assets in MySuper products were $420 billion at the end of the March 2015 quarter, up by 23.1 per cent from a year earlier.

Detailed MySuper statistics, including asset allocation benchmarks and information on product fees by specific MySuper offering, are available from: http://www.apra.gov.au/Super/Publications/Pages/Quarterly-MySuper-statistics.aspx

Accrued default amounts were $67.4 billion, down from $72.5 billion in the previous quarter. This figure had been static over the previous few quarters. APRA does not indicate in which funds the accrued default amounts are present.

Contributions to funds with more than four members over the March 2015 quarter were $23.7 billion, up 4.4 per cent from the March 2014 quarter ($22.7 billion). Total contributions for the year ending March 2015 were $101.6 billion.

This increase in contributions is slightly above wages and employment growth, with the increase in the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) playing a part. Most employer contributions are now SG or for defined benefit with salary sacrifice only a small proportion of total employer contributions (9 per cent).

The APRA-regulated sector average for investment returns was a very healthy 13 per cent over the year to the March quarter. As a result of the realisation of capital gains, deferred tax assets fell in the quarter to $938 million, around half the level a year earlier and well down on the levels after the Global Financial Crisis.

Outward benefit transfers exceeded inward benefit transfers by $641 million in the March 2015 quarter. The outflow to self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) was $1,950 million in the quarter, up from $1,500 million in the previous quarter. However, this is not large compared to the size of the SMSF sector and is not really driving growth of that sector. The outward flow to SMSFs is also lower than the recorded net inflow to SMSFs recorded in Australian Taxation Office data. The reason for the discrepancy is not clear and may be due to how some SMSFs record contributions of rolled over capital gains from the sale of small businesses.

There were $14.4 billion in total benefit payments in the March 2015 quarter, an increase of 9.0 per cent from the March 2014 quarter ($13.2 billion). Total benefit payments for the year ending March 2015 were $57.5 billion. For these APRA-regulated funds, lump sums exceeded pension payments by a relatively small amount.

There were no real changes in the number of APRA funds during the March quarter. Fund merger activity appears to have slowed or stalled for the time being.