The median superannuation fund in the accumulation phase produced a 9.1 per cent return for the year ending 30 June 2018, the Association of Super Funds of Australia (ASFA) has reported.
However, the typical fund member in a balanced option has seen returns add more than 85 per cent of the original balance over the last decade, with members in growth options enjoying savings growth of more than 90 per cent, ASFA CEO Dr Martin Fahy said.
Over the last 10 years, the average fund returned 6.5 per cent per annum.
“This is despite the significant impact on members experienced during the global financial cisis,” Mr Fahy observed.
ASFA said the returns are testament to the smoothing power of time, with the average fund returning 10.0 per cent p.a. over the last 56 years, 10.6 per cent p.a. over the last 40 years and 7.6 per cent over the last 25 years.
The average 6.5 per cent p.a. return delivered over the last 10 years is in fact the lowest figure over the periods measured, with 15-year returns at 7.5 per cent p.a., and five-year returns at 9.0 per cent p.a.
“Superannuation is working,” Mr Fahy said.
“An increasing number of retirees now have significant private income above the age pension, meaning they achieve a comfortable standard of living in retirement, rather than just getting by.
“With legislated increases in the superannuation guarantee, this trend will continue and by 2050, half of all retirees will reach the ASFA comfortable standard.”
The superannuation sector currently holds aggregate assets of around $2.7 trillion, ASFA noted, with an average $180,000 per Australian saver. That's up from $167,000 last year.