Australian Super Funds Have Seen Their Best Returns In 20 Years

The top performing growth superannuation fund in 2013 returned almost 20 per cent.

Even the worst performing fund in the median growth fund category returned double digits.

This was the best performance in the past 20 calendar years and the second highest since the introduction of compulsory super in 1992, says Chant West, a firm of superannuation analysts.

“We’ve now had nine positive calendar year returns in the past eleven,” says Chant West director Warren Chant.

“Of course, one of those two negative years was 2008 when, in the depths of the GFC, the median growth fund sustained a 21.5 per cent loss.

“However, funds have bounced back strongly from that setback, and now stand about 21 per cent above their pre-GFC high.”

“The great majority of Australian workers are in their employer’s default growth fund, so if they sat tight while the GFC came and went they will have emerged with their savings relatively unscathed.”


  • Funds have bounced back strongly from the depths of the GFC, and now stand about 21 per cent above pre-GFC high achieved in October 2007. They’ve gained 64 per cent since the GFC low-point, which came at the end of February 2009.
  • The funds that did best in 2013 were those that had significant investments in international shares and chose to have a lower portion of their foreign currency exposure hedged.
  • Industry funds finished ahead of master trusts over the year, returning 17.4 per cent versus 16.9 per cent. They also hold the advantage over the longer term, having returned 7.4 per cent a year against 6.8 per cent for master trusts over the ten years to December 2013 but the gap is narrowing.

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