The 10 best-performing Australian default super funds in 2016

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Catholic Super and HOSTPLUS were the top returning super funds in 2016, delivering a 10.1% gain for their members, according to industry analyst SuperRatings.

The median balanced option returned 7.3% over the 12 months to December, slightly below the 7.6% average over the last seven years.

The return is similar to the capital return from Australian equities. The ASX200 closed the year almost 7% ahead. However, including dividends, shares probably returned around 11.7%.

After a sharp fall at the start of 2016, super funds picked up but then hit Brexit-related volatility mid-year. A late surge in November and December put the funds in firm positive territory.

“Political upsets were the dominating theme of 2016, and this year we will see whether these trends carry over to the European continent,” says SuperRatings chairman Jeff Bresnahan.

“There will be no shortage of political events in 2017, and based on last years’ experience we can expect continued bouts of heightened volatility.

“However, like 2016, we may be surprised at the resilience of super funds and their ability to perform in a range of market conditions.”

Here are the top ten funds for 2016:

Source: SuperRatings

Up to 70% of Australians have their super in a balanced option, with exposure to growth style assets of between 60% and 76%.