Superannuation assets totalled $3.5 trillion at the end of the December 2021 quarter. Over the 12 months from December 2020 there was a 14.0 per cent increase in total superannuation assets.
Total assets in MySuper products totalled $950 billion at the end of the December 2021 quarter. Over the 12 months from December 2020 there was a 18.2 per cent increase in total assets in MySuper products.
The increase in the value of assets over the year to the December quarter 2021 reflected the recovery in local and overseas financial markets following a sharp decline as a result of COVID-19. Outflows of benefits under early release arrangements had a downwards impact on total assets but early release came to an end on 31 December 2020.
For APRA regulated funds:
There were $34.3 billion of contributions in the December 2021 quarter, a decline of 1.0 per cent from the September 2021 quarter. Over the year, total contribution levels have increased by 15.5 per cent, and are above long term trends. This follows strong growth in both employer and personal member contributions. The increase in the Superannuation Guarantee on 1 July 2021 to 10 per cent contributed to the growth in employer contributions. Personal contributions were $33.9 billion in the year to December 2021, up substantially from the $22.1 billion in the year to December 2020. Household savings are at high levels by historical standards and part of this has flowed through to superannuation contributions.
There were $21.5 billion in total benefit payments in the December 2021 quarter, an increase of 2.8 per cent from the September 2021 quarter with a 27.2 per cent decrease over the year ending December 2021. The decline over the year ending December 2021 reflects the end of Early Release Scheme withdrawals being incorporated in yearly data, with lump sum payments also declining by 41.5 per cent over the year to $42.7 billion. Both lump-sum and pension payments are back in line with long term trend levels as at the December 2021 quarter.
Net contribution flows for the year ending December 2021 were $58.5 billion, compared with $7.5 billion for the year ending December 2020 (with the latter figure strongly affected by Early Release payments).
The annual industry-wide rate of return (ROR) for entities with more than four members for the year ending December 2021 was 12.8 per cent and was 2.6 per cent in the December quarter 2021. The five-year average annualised ROR to December 2021 was 7.9 per cent.
As at the end of the December 2021 quarter, 56 per cent of the $2.3 trillion investments were invested in equities; with 23 per cent in Australian listed equities, 29 per cent in international listed equities and 5 per cent in unlisted equities. Fixed income and cash investments accounted for 27 per cent of investments; 18 per cent in fixed income and 9 per cent in cash.
Property and infrastructure accounted for 15 per cent of investments and 3 per cent was invested in other assets, including hedge funds and commodities.