1. Super Statistics

Superannuation Statistics

Statistics issued December 2015

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Superannuation assets in aggregate were $1.995 trillion ($ 2 trillion rounded) at the end of the September 2015 quarter, slightly down from the previous quarter. Over the 12 months to September 2015, there was a 6.5 per cent increase in total superannuation assets.

Total assets in MySuper products were $433 billion at the end of the September 2015 quarter, up by 15.4 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: www.apra.gov.au/Super/Publications/Pages/Quarterly-MySuper-statistics.aspx

Accrued default amounts were $51.9 billion, down from $60.9 billion in the previous quarter. Retail funds had a total of $49.6 billion in accrued default amounts, around 9.5 per cent of the total assets in retail funds. There were 2.5 million member accounts that include an accrued default amount.

Contributions to funds with more than four members over the September 2015 quarter were $24.4 billion, down substantially from the previous quarter. The June quarter typically receives higher than average contributions as individuals make voluntary contributions prior to the end of the tax year. Total contributions for the year ending September 2015 were $104.6 billion.

Most employer contributions are now SG or for defined benefit with salary sacrifice only a small proportion of total employer contributions (8 per cent).

The APRA-regulated sector average for investment returns was 5.7 per cent over the year to the September quarter. This was across all investment options.

As shown by the table below, Australia has some of the highest 5 and 10 year average annual rate of investment returns in the OECD area.

Outward benefit transfers exceeded inward benefit transfers by $841 million in the September 2015 quarter. The outflow to self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) was $1,781 million in the quarter, down from $1,892 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. Rollovers from retail funds to SMSFs were $928 million with rollovers from industry funds to SMSFs $481 million.

There were $15.9 billion in total benefit payments in the September 2015 quarter. Total benefit payments for the year ending September 2015 were $62.1 billion. For these APRA-regulated funds, in the September quarter pension payments again exceeded lump sums.

There were no changes in the number of APRA funds during the September quarter. Fund merger activity appears to be in abeyance for the time being in terms of completed mergers.

Table 1. Pension fund nominal and real 5-year and 10-year geometric average annual returns up until 2014

   5-year average  10-year average
Country Nominal Real Nominal Real
United Kingdom 11.8 8.4 9.5 6.5
Netherlands 9.8 7.8 6.6 4.8
Denmark 8.9 7.1 7.3 5.4
Australia 8.8 6.0 6.6 3.7
Canada 8.7 6.9 6.5 4.7
New Zealand 8.6 6.3 5.9 3.3
Mexico 8.2 4.1 7.2 2.9
Iceland 8.0 4.5 7.6 1.7
Chile 7.1 3.7 7.1 3.5
Belgium 6.9 5.0 6.0 4.0
Norway 6.6 4.9 6.2 4.2
Israel 6.5 4.8 6.3 4.1
United States 5.7 3.9 2.6 0.5
Luxembourg 4.7 2.8 n/a n/a
Austria 4.6 2.4 3.4 1.4
Switzerland 4.6 4.8 3.6 3.3
Spain 4.4 2.9 n/a n/a
Germany 4.3 2.9 4.2 2.6
Slovenia 4.2 2.7 n/a n/a
Korea 4.2 2.1 3.8 1.2
Italy 4.0 2.4 3.8 2.0
Estonia 3.6 0.9 1.9 -1.7
Portugal 2.9 1.3 3.9 2.3
Japan 2.5 1.8 0.6 0.3
Czech Republic 2.3 0.6 2.5 0.3
Slovak Republic 2.1 0.3 n/a n/a

Source: OECD Global Pension Statistics.