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APRA has taken another important step towards helping consumers identify the superannuation products that perform well and those that underperform, and make super funds more accountable.
The first APRA ‘Heatmap’ looking at some Choice superannuation products has revealed six out of ten investment options delivered returns below APRA’s 7-year benchmark. More than one out of four (over 25%) of the options delivered ‘significantly poor returns’.
AIST has long called for all non-MySuper products (Choice) to be publicly measured and monitored by the regulator, and APRA’s analysis of today’s Choice Heatmap reveals why that call was so urgent.
APRA not only says that Choice product performance varies considerably more than MySuper products, it also says “fees and costs of choice products are considerably higher than MySuper products, without obvious benefit in financial outcomes for members.”
AIST’s General Manager Advocacy Mel Birks said she welcomes the release of the first Choice Heatmap, and supports the increased transparency and disclosure that the heatmaps provide.
“However, it is disturbing to see the levels of underperformance in the retail superannuation sector. While all the political attention has been on MySuper products – which have, on average, always clearly outperformed the Choice sector - the retirement savings of millions of Australians in the Choice sector were being held back by poor performance,” she said.
“The Heatmap only considers a small fraction of the available Choice investment options – just 727 out of 40,000, in fact. So there’s a lot more work to do to make sure scrutiny is extended to cover all APRA-regulated superannuation products.”Most Australians in MySuper products are ‘defaulted’ into their funds, while those with Choice superannuation products often have them as a result of financial advice.
The second MySuper Heatmap was also published today, with 17 out of the 20 top performing funds coming from the profit-to-member sector, and accounting for more than 7.2 million accounts, or more than 1 in 2 of all MySuper accounts.
Enquiries: Mel Birks, 0411 780 353
AIST is the peak body for the $1.6 trillion profit-to-member superannuation sector which includes industry, corporate and public-sector funds