Australian superannuation funds delivered their 5th consecutive year of positive returns in 2016, with industry funds continuing their trend of outperforming their retail peers, according to Chant West.
The median growth superannuation fund returned 7.7 per cent, with all funds in the growth category delivering positive results between 4.2 per cent and 10.1 per cent for the year, the company said.
This is in line with Chant West's expectations from last month, when the company said super funds were on track to deliver another strong year.
“Members should be very pleased with the 2016 result, which was achieved against a backdrop of unsettled global politics and a relatively weak economic environment,” said Chant West director Warren Chant.
Mr Chant noted that industry funds had outperformed retail funds over the course of the year, returning 8.2 per cent to retail’s 6.9 per cent.
“Industry funds also hold the advantage over the longer term, having returned 5.5 per cent per annum against 4.6 per cent for retail funds over the 10 years to December 2016,” he said.
While performance was strong in 2016, SuperRatings chair Jeff Bresnahan cautioned that 2017 would bring more volatility and uncertainty to markets.
“Political upsets were the dominating theme of 2016, and this year we will see whether these trends carry over to the European continent,” he said.
“There will be no shortage of political events in 2017, and based on last year’s 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.”