Superannuation assets totalled $3.0 trillion at the end of the December 2020 quarter. Over the 12 months from December 2019 there was a 2.2 per cent increase in total superannuation assets.
Total assets in MySuper products totalled $812 billion at the end of the December 2020 quarter. Over the 12 months from December 2019 there was a 1.3 per cent increase in total assets in MySuper products.
The increase in the value of assets over the year to the December quarter 2020 reflected the recovery in local and overseas financial markets in the second half of the period following a sharp decline as a result of COVID-19. Outflows of benefits under early release arrangements also had a downwards impact on total assets. However, benefit payments for the December 2020 quarter of $21.3 billion were significantly lower than the $33.9 billion paid during the prior quarter as member demand for Early Release Scheme (ERS) payments diminished
For APRA regulated funds:
There were $29.5 billion of contributions in the December 2020 quarter, an increase from the $27.7 billion in September 2020 quarter and also up on the December 2019 quarter. Personal contributions for the December 2020 quarter of $4.6 billion were up on the figure for the September quarter but lower than the $5.0 billion in the December 2019 quarter. Total contributions for the year ending December 2020 were $120.7 billion.
There were $21.3 billion in total benefit payments in the December 2020 quarter. The spike in benefit payments for the year to the December 2020 quarter to $113.3 billion reflected lump sum payments caused by the Early Release Scheme that commenced on 20 April.
Quarterly net contribution flows (contributions plus net benefit transfers less benefit payments) to the industry were $8.3 billion after negative flows in the two previous quarters.
The annual industry-wide rate of return (ROR) for entities with more than four members for the year ending December 2020 was 3.1 per cent and was 6.2 per cent in the December quarter 2020. The five year average annualised ROR to December 2020 was 6.7 per cent.
As at the end of the December 2020 quarter, 53 per cent of the $2.0 trillion investments were invested in equities; with 23 per cent in Australian listed equities, 26 per cent in international listed equities and 4 per cent in unlisted equities. Fixed income and cash investments accounted for 31 per cent of investments; 20 per cent in fixed income and 11 per cent in cash. The cash allocation is back towards pre-pandemic levels, largely reflecting underlying member switching activity and the bulk of expected Early Release scheme payments having been completed.
Property and infrastructure accounted for 14 per cent of investments and 3 per cent was invested in other assets, including hedge funds and commodities.