NOT-FOR-PROFIT and in-house corporate funds have topped an official list of the nation's best performing super funds, well ahead of retail funds run by the big banks and wealth managers.
Figures from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority yesterday tracking the hundreds of billions held in managed super funds, show annualised returns averaged just 2 per cent over the past five years. However, the performance improved over the longer term with returns averaging 5 per cent over eight years.
Critically, the APRA figures show $346 billion worth of the nation's superannuation savings are tied up in funds that have delivered below-average returns over the past five years.
Of the 50 funds to post the best returns between 2007 and 2011, 42 were not-for-profit or in-house corporate funds. The best returns were led by stevedoring-linked fund CBH Superannuation, which posted five year returns of 7.1 per cent. The Goldman Sachs JB Were staff fund, a consistent top performer, posted annual returns of 5.2 per cent.
The Commonwealth Bank's staff fund came in third, returning 4.7 per cent over five years. The Reserve Bank of Australia staff fund came in at fifth place with 4.4 per cent returns.
The best performing industry scheme was the Catholic Superannuation fund with average returns of 4.1 per cent over five years.
Challenger Retirement Fund was the only retail fund to make the top 50, with an average rate of return of 4.5 per cent over the five years to 2011.
Among the poor performers, Motor Trades Superannuation Fund averaged a loss of 0.8 per cent over five years while the 4200-member Lifefocus retail superannuation fund posted minus 6.3 per cent over the same period.