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Super assets swell as market rebounds

3 minute read

Total assets in the super sector soared to over $3.1 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2021, but the legacy of the COVID crisis dragged on contributions, according to new figures from the prudential regulator.

Released in its Quarterly Superannuation Performance publication and the Quarterly MySuper Statistics report, the figure is a 14 per cent increase on the March 2020 results and is being credited to strong investment performance.

APRA confirmed total superannuation assets of $3.13 trillion, up 13.9 per cent from March 2020. 

Around $2.13 trillion of this was in APRA-regulated funds, an increase of 15.1 per cent from March 2020.


However, the statistics revealed member contributions to super dropped significantly in the year to March 2021 as the COVID crisis reached its peak, with a 7.3 per cent decline equal to $23.4 billion.

The regulator noted contributions had picked up again over the most recent quarter, indicating “a return to long-term trend levels”.

Total contributions to super had increased by just 0.8 per cent over the last 12 months, with employer contributions jumping by 3.0 per cent ($97.8 billion), of which super guarantee contributions increased by 5.4 per cent ($73.2 billion).

Total benefits paid out over the pandemic year also increased dramatically to $110 billion from $83.5 billion the previous year, equating to a 76.3 per cent decline in net contribution flows for the year to March.

Commenting on the data, financial services minister Jane Hume said the rapid increase in super assets highlighted the urgency of passing the government's super reforms, which Labor has said they will fight in parliament.

"Confirmation of total superannuation assets reaching an all‑time high means it is more important than ever to pass the Your Future, Your Super legislation currently before the House of Representatives," Ms Hume said.

"If implemented, the reforms are estimated to save Australian workers $17.9 billion over 10 years."

Ms Hume continued, "We want Australians’ money to be working harder for them, and invested in members best financial interests, so they can enjoy a higher standard of living in retirement.

"The Your Future, Your Super package is an important step towards that goal."

Neil Griffiths

Neil Griffiths

Neil is the Deputy Editor of the wealth titles, including ifa and InvestorDaily. 

Neil is also the host of the ifa show podcast.