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ASIC tells Australians to actively manage their super

2 minute read

The regulator has encouraged active engagement with superannuation.

ASIC COO Warren Day has called on Australians to actively engage with their super in order to set themselves up for retirement.

In a recent interview with the ABC, Mr Day stated that retirement outcomes depended significantly on when individuals begin planning and whether they have accumulated enough wealth during their working life.

“While super is not the only source of retirement savings – the money may also come from investments, government benefits and your home, if you downsize – it is the only significant asset for many Australians,” he said.

“So, it’s important people actively manage their super and check the performance of their fund.”

The median balanced super fund ended the 2021-22 financial year down 3.3 per cent, the third lowest return since the introduction of the super guarantee in 1992. The country’s largest super fund, AustralianSuper, also reported a negative return for its balanced option

However, Mr Day suggested that individuals should look beyond just the past financial year when considering the performance of their super.

“You may consider switching funds if your fund is consistently underperforming – but you should take a long-term view,” said Mr Day.

“Super fund returns will most likely be lower this financial year after high returns last year, you need to consider performance over a number of years to get an accurate picture.”

He said that members of MySuper products should check the performance of their fund using the Your Super comparison tool from the ATO, which incorporates the findings of APRA’s annual performance test.

The test was due to be expanded beyond MySuper products this year before the federal government earlier this month announced a review of Your Future, Your Super laws and a pause of the extension.

Mr Day also encouraged individuals to make sure they are in the right investment option for their risk tolerance, which would likely be impacted by how close they are to retirement.

“Think about how much investment risk you’re comfortable with. A higher growth option will have higher risk and experience more volatile returns over the short term,” he said.

“But it will usually achieve higher returns over the long term. A conservative option, like cash or bonds, will offer lower risk but lower returns over the long term.”