Superannuation assets totalled $3.1 trillion at the end of the March 2021 quarter. Over the 12 months from March 2020 there was a 3.1 per cent increase in total superannuation assets.
Total assets in MySuper products totalled $850 billion at the end of the March 2021 quarter. Over the 12 months from March 2020 there was a 19.3 per cent increase in total assets in MySuper products.
The increase in the value of assets over the year to the March quarter 2021 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 but early release came to an end on 31 December 2020.
For APRA regulated funds:
There were $29.2 billion of contributions in the March 2021 quarter, a small decrease from the $29.3 billion in December 2020 quarter but up 2.5 per cent on the March 2020 quarter. Personal contributions for the March 2021 quarter of $4.8 billion were up by 5.5 per cent on the figure for the December quarter and 9.6 per cent up on the March 2020 quarter.
There were $18.3 billion in total benefit payments in the March 2021 quarter, a decrease of 13.2 per cent from the December 2020 quarter. Both of these quarters had significantly lower total benefit payments than the June and September 2020 quarters, which experienced historically high levels of lump sum payments under the Early Release Scheme (ERS).
Net contribution flows for the year ending March 2021 were $9.8 billion largely due to ERS, compared with $41.3 billion for the year ending March 2020.
The annual industry-wide rate of return (ROR) for entities with more than four members for the year ending March 2021 was 18.2 per cent and was 2.9 per cent in the March quarter 2021. The five year average annualised ROR to March 2021 was 7.5 per cent.
As at the end of the March 2021 quarter, 54 per cent of the $2.0 trillion investments were invested in equities; with 23 per cent in Australian listed equities, 27 per cent in international listed equities and 4 per cent in unlisted equities. Fixed income and cash investments accounted for 29 per cent of investments; 19 per cent in fixed income and 10 per cent in cash. The cash allocation is back towards pre-pandemic levels, largely reflecting underlying member switching activity and 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.