HomeFinanceSuperannuationHow your super performed in October

How your super performed in October

Superannuation returns continued their recent volatile run in October, falling slightly against the previous month, according to research house SuperRatings. Also, has your employer been paying you what it should?

The median balanced super fund option is expected to post a -1.6 per cent return for the month of October, estimates from SuperRatings show.

The result is the third consecutive month of negative returns, continuing super’s rough start to the 2023-24 financial year.

The median growth option is also set to post a -1.9 per cent loss, while the median capital stable option dropped -0.8 per cent.

Kirby Rappell, executive director of SuperRatings says volatility in share markets, both domestic and international, is driving returns backwards.

“We have observed continued uncertainty around global markets and inflation, which has weighed on returns from shares,” he says.

Inflation and rate rises still a factor

Although data shows the rate of inflation is slowing, it is still having enough of a negative impact on the economy that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is signalling more rate rises in coming months, after another 0.25 per cent rise on Melbourne Cup day.

The rate rises are slowing consumer spending (which is the desired effect), which in turn causes the share price of many companies to fall, affecting superannuation returns.

And it’s not just funds exposed to Australian shares that are copping it. The same inflation/rate rise situation is playing in developed economies across the globe, so many international shares are down and expected to stay down.

Is super still the best long-term strategy?

While three consecutive negative months is not good, Mr Rappell is quick to emphasise that it is just a small dip in a much longer upward trend.

“Despite the uncertain environment of the past quarter, returns remain positive over one through to 20 years,” he says.

“Super funds continue to display strong capabilities in navigating uncertain market environments and members have been experiencing increased levels of ups and downs for some time now.

“Our message to members remains one of focusing on the long term and sticking with their long-term investment strategy. The ups and downs are likely to continue, and members who are thinking about changing their strategy are encouraged to contact their fund, or speak with a trusted adviser, before making any changes.”

Government chasing unpaid super

Returns may be down, but the overall superannuation pot has grown even larger, after the Australian Tax Office (ATO) reported clawing back more than $683 million in unpaid super guarantee (SG) payments from employers.

The SG is the minimum amount employers must contribute to their eligible employees’ funds by the due date.

The ATO audits resulted in more than $1.6 billion in super guarantee charges (SGC) being issued to offending employers. SGCs are essentially fines issued by the ATO for non-payment of entitlements.

Emma Rosenzweig, ATO deputy commissioner, emphasised that most employers are doing the right thing, but that the ATO takes non-compliance very seriously.

“Super belongs to employees for their future retirement savings and we do everything we can to ensure Australia’s hard-working employees are receiving their lawful entitlements from their employers,’ Ms Rosenzweig said.

During the 2022–23 financial year, the ATO completed around 14,000 SG audit cases and issued around 134,000 reminder notices for unpaid super.

How did your super fund performed last month? Are you considering a switch? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: Aussies (mostly) satisfied with their super fund, data shows

Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyerhttps://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/author/bradlockyer/
Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.


  1. Hi Brad
    Can you explain how raising interest rates will bring down inflation when a lot of retirees and young people are out spending their money.We know quite a few who like us have supers,saved monies and inheritances who won’t sit around and do nothing with the money and don’t worry about inflation .We see young people with their children out spending,they don’t worry ,If people don’t spend then the coffee shops etc will have to lay off staff who then go on the dole and if there is less workers paying tax’s who pays for the dole ?
    Kind regards

  2. So sick of reading about super being for ‘the long term’. What about us retirees with minimal super, watching it go down and down? Don’t have the luxury of long term, or adding to super – and why would you to see it be decimated? In pension phase, we have to take out a certain percentage, but there’ll soon be nothing left.

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