The top-performing super funds of the last decade

While 2019 was a good year, fund members are reminded that super is a long game.

piggy banks on a podium

Super fund members have enjoyed high returns from a superannuation industry that has delivered strong performances for the past decade.

Last year was another strong year – the seventh best in history – delivering, on average, 14.7 per cent returns.

According to Chant West, UniSuper Balanced was the best fund for 2019, putting out returns to the tune of 18.4 per cent on its growth fund.

And with returns of 17 per cent or higher, Tasplan Balanced, CFS FirstChoice Growth, Australian Ethical Super Balance and AustralianSuper rounded out the top five.

An indication of how strong 2019 was for super funds was the worst performer in Chant West’s growth category, which still delivered 10.5 per cent returns.

“Very few would have predicted such a strong result 12 months ago when growth funds had just lost 4.6 per cent over the December 2018 quarter and investor sentiment was decidedly negative,” said Chant West senior investment manager Mano Mohankumar.

While 2019 was a good year for super, Mr Mohankumar reminded fund members that super was a long-term game.

“Certainly look at what your fund delivered over the year, but it’s even more important to know what its long-term objectives are and whether it’s achieving them,” he said.

The top-performing growth fund of the decade was Hostplus Balanced, which delivered average returns of 9.2 per cent a year.

AustralianSuper Balanced, UniSuper Balanced, Cbus Growth and CareSuper Balanced rounded out the remaining top five spots. All delivered 8.7 per cent or more per year.

“The 2019 result brings the average return over the past 10 years to 7.9 per cent per annum,” said Mr Mohankumar.

“That’s a tremendous run, but we should remember that it partly represents the recovery from the GFC (Global Financial Crisis) when the median growth fund fell about 26 per cent.”

However, as Kirby Rappell from SuperRatings told YourLifeChoices last week, Mr Mohankumar also cautioned members expecting big results in the coming year.

“It would be a mistake to assume that the level of returns over the past decade will continue,” he said.

“At some stage they’re going to revert to more ‘normal’ levels, and there will be more challenging times ahead.”

How did your super fund perform over the past decade?

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    20th Jan 2020
    Australian stock market up 18.4% and the top fund only just matched it. Not a good performance at all.
    20th Jan 2020
    Congratulations, It's a very good return if you have the money to invest in the stock market!
    20th Jan 2020
    No it's not a good return when compare it to other managed funds and SMSFs.

    Just got an email from AFI informing me that the ASX200 accumulation index gained 25.4% and AFI gained 25.5%.
    20th Jan 2020
    rest super didn't perform that well as far as i'm concerned.Only have a small amount and draw $184 fortnight,still keeps going down,balance is down to 57 from 59 a year ago
    20th Jan 2020
    thats a fantastic return if you can draw $184 fortnight with just $59 capital !!
    ex PS
    24th Jan 2020
    You need to balance your withdrawals to your balance and your profit rate. I have been drawing enough from Q Super to live on and have made several large cash witdrawels and over 8 years havecreduced my balance by about $10000.
    I have no where near the million dollars that the Financial Advisors tout in my Super Fund.
    No need to take risks, lowvto medium risk balanced strategies will return around 10% most years.
    20th Jan 2020
    Hi thommo,
    I have a rest super and I am very happy with it. My balance has gone up and I draw $112 a month. I just wonder what your balance is in bananas or oranges coz if it is in $$$$ it will run out in 1/3 payment.
    22nd Jan 2020
    My REST super provides me with $4500 monthly, my balance is $7000 more than it was 6 years ago. can't complain about that.
    20th Jan 2020
    6 % is roughly the decade average for these funds. Aust Super is so badly run, you can never access a current balance if your life depends on it. Having been with A/Super for about 30 years, they are run like the Mafioso. Wait until the next downturn and see how they treat their customers. You never know how much you have or if you will ever see it again.
    20th Jan 2020
    I have been with Australia Super for 20+ years and most times (very occasionally down for maintenance) I don't have a problem accessing my current balances in either super fund or pension account. Just checked My Account Summary and it showed estimated balances as of today. Very happy I'm with them;
    20th Jan 2020
    20th Jan 2020
    Greenie I am able to get what is in my account daily and that is an industry super
    20th Jan 2020
    Greenie I am able to get what is in my account daily and that is an industry super
    20th Jan 2020
    I completely disagree with the choice of Top-Performing Super Funds (Australian Super).
    I had a small Super Fund with Australian Super (for a 1-off job). From the outset, I couldn't access my Australian Super account.
    When I approached them for assistance, they were unhelpful and even rude and couldn't care.
    After numerous phone-calls (and many menu options), and e-mails, I managed to get a balance. Surprise, surprise, the balance was 'nil'.
    On another phone call, I received the answer, "It's been eaten up by fees" (no further explanation). I was supposed to accept this without comment.
    I followed up with a message to a supervisor. To this, I received an apology (for the rudeness) and that is all.
    As I've said, this company (in my opinion) has reached a new low.
    24th Jan 2020
    Industry super funds are the best and with lower fees but ONE is able to also go ONLINE TO CHANGE THE PERCENTAGE OF YOUR MONEYS IN AND OUT OF THE 7 ASSET CLASSES but within each class, it is controlled by the fund managers.
    However, if the share market is performing well according to their figures, then one may move more into those classes and vice versa!
    Do NOT rely on the funds doing everything for you but also keep your eyes and ears open to market trends as well as do a bit of online research!
    Doesn't take brains to do all that if you keep track of your fund performance on a weekly basis!
    24th Jan 2020
    Industry private health funds are cheaper also and these compare funds websites only do not represent these cheaper industry ones so do your homework before choosing.

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