Wed. May 25th, 2022

The best performing pension funds for 2021 revealed in the midst of warnings not to expect another bumper year – so is your retirement in safe hands?

  • Growth super funds had an exceptional year with a median return of 13.4 per cent
  • HostPlus returned 19.1 percent growth, nine Australian funds topped 15% growth
  • Analysts warn that such high growth is not normal, so 2022 may bring lower returns










The best-performing superfunds over the past year have been unveiled, and analysts call 2021 a ‘remarkable’ year as they tried to cool the hope of a repeat performance in 2022.

The top 55 Australian super-investment opportunities delivered median returns of 13.4 per cent in the past year, according to financial sector research firm Chant West.

The best performance in 2021 was HostPlus Balanced with a huge return of 19.1 percent after fees and taxes, while the same fund was just first for returns over 10 years.

The top 55 Australian super-investment opportunities delivered median returns of 13.4 percent in the past year, according to financial sector research firm Chant West (stock photo)

The top 55 Australian super-investment opportunities delivered median returns of 13.4 percent in the past year, according to financial sector research firm Chant West (stock photo)

The best performance in 2021 was HostPlus Balanced, with a huge return of 19.1 percent after fees and taxes

The best performance in 2021 was HostPlus Balanced, with a huge return of 19.1 percent after fees and taxes

Nine funds delivered a return of 15 percent or better for the calendar year.

SunSuper and ChristianSuper topped 16 percent, while Mine Super and TelstraSuper were close, reaching a return of 15.9 percent.

But Chant West senior investment research manager Mano Mohankumar warned that history shows that super does not often continue to deliver such strong returns.

“Superfunds have had a fantastic year with a median return of 13.4 percent, but returns at that level should not be taken for granted,” he said.

‘The typical long-term return target for growth funds is to beat inflation by 3.5 per cent a year, which equates to around 5.5 to 6 per cent.’

Median returns for Australian superfunds in calendar years have in recent times tended to fluctuate between large and marginally positive.

In 2020, the top funds gave only a return of 3.6 percent after a huge 14.7 percent in 2019, less than one percent in 2018, with a result of 10.8 percent in 2017.

Since the introduction of mandatory super-contributions in Australia, only four years have yielded a negative return, including the horrific result of -21.5 in 2008, the year of the JRC

The 2021 result was ‘remarkable’, Mr Mohankumar said, especially given the ongoing disruption and health problems caused by the pandemic.

“A year ago, we wondered how funds had managed to deliver a positive return despite the financial markets’ carnage in February and March 2020, when the COVID crisis unfolded,” he said.

HostPlus and AustralianSuper both delivered an average return of 10.7 percent each year over the past 10 years

HostPlus and AustralianSuper both delivered an average return of 10.7 percent each year over the past 10 years

Since the introduction of mandatory super-contributions in Australia, only four years have yielded a negative return, including the horrific result of -21.5 in 2008, the year of the JRC

Since the introduction of mandatory super-contributions in Australia, only four years have yielded a negative return, including the horrific result of -21.5 in 2008, the year of the JRC

‘We said at the time that 2021 could prove challenging, but the funds have once again exceeded expectations by delivering a 10th positive return in a row.’

The consistent component that contributed to the high returns was the performance of the stocks – especially international stocks, Chant West found.

“Australian equities rose 17.5 per cent while international equities rose 24.3 per cent in hedged terms,” ​​Mr Mohankumar said.

HostPlus and AustralianSuper both delivered an average return of 10.7 percent each year over the past 10 years.

UniSuper returned 10.6 percent growth on average, while Cbus MySuper, VicSuper and SunSuper all topped 10 percent on average over the decade.

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