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What were the best performing super funds in FY23?

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The top 10 balanced super funds of the past financial year all achieved returns of more than 9.5 per cent.

Data published by research house SuperRatings has revealed that ESSSuper’s Balanced Growth option was Australia’s top performing balanced fund during the 2023 financial year.

According to SuperRatings, the Balanced Growth investment option – which was formerly known as “Basic Growth” – returned 13.3 per cent in the 12 months to the end of June, more than 2 percentage points above than the next best performing balanced fund.

“Performance over the last 12 months has been a welcome result for our members and follows a multi-year program of reorienting the portfolio towards areas of competitive advantage,” said Daniel Selioutine, group executive, investments, at ESSSuper.

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“Our shorter-term performance is explained by our positioning in equities and bonds, however, our dedicated investment team remains firmly focused on delivering longer-term investment outcomes to members.”

Vision Super’s Balanced Growth was the next best performing balanced option with a return of 11.0 per cent, followed by Brighter Super’s Balanced, which returned 10.6 per cent.

Over FY23, double digit returns were also achieved by UniSuper’s Balanced (10.3 per cent), Equip MyFuture’s Balanced Growth (10.1 per cent), and Australian Retirement Trust’s Super Savings Balanced (10.0 per cent).

IOOF Employer Super Core’s IOOF MultiSeries 70 (9.8 per cent), Aware Super Future Saver’s Balanced (9.7 per cent), Mercer Super Trust’s Mercer Select Growth (9.6 per cent), and HESTA’s Balanced Growth (9.6 per cent) rounded out the top 10 balanced funds.

SuperRatings noted that the majority of gains were achieved by super funds during the second half of the financial year on the back of a rally in share markets globally.

“A key theme for returns in 2023 was that funds with higher exposure to shares generally outperformed for the year, while those with greater exposure to unlisted property and alternatives reported more subdued outcomes,” the research house explained.

“As a result, members who were invested in index funds generally did quite well, given the strong focus on listed shares in these options.”

HESTA’s Indexed Balanced Growth option was the best performing indexed fund during FY23 with a return of 12.5 per cent, just ahead of Rest’s Balanced Index (12.4 per cent), and Hostplus’ Indexed Balanced (12.3 per cent).

Among sustainable balanced options, Raiz Super’s Emerald investment option came out on top with a 13.3 per cent return, followed by Super SA Triple S’ Socially Responsible option (12.1 per cent), and UniSuper’s Sustainable Balanced option (11.0 per cent).

“As we see funds offering members a range of investment options, it is worthwhile to note we are seeing different options perform well in different market conditions,” said Kirby Rappell, executive director of SuperRatings.

“However, members should remember that superannuation is a long-term investment, and most of these options are still relatively new in superannuation terms. While short-term trends may be topical, longer-term trends are our primary focus as we want to see which funds have performed well over the long term and their alignment with their member’s outcomes.”

Looking over the past 10 years, Hostplus’ Balanced option ranked as the best performing balanced option with a return of 8.9 per cent p.a., ahead of AustralianSuper’s Balanced (8.6 per cent p.a.), Australian Retirement Trust’s Super Savings Balanced (8.4 per cent p.a.), and UniSuper’s Balanced (8.4 per cent p.a.).

The top 10 balanced options of the past decade also included Cbus’ Growth (MySuper) (8.3 per cent p.a.), Vision Super’s Balanced Growth (8.1 per cent p.a.), CareSuper’s Balanced (8.0 per cent p.a.), HESTA’s Balanced Growth (8.0 per cent p.a.), Aware Super Future Saver’s Balanced (7.9 per cent p.a.), and Spirit Super’s Balanced (MySuper) (7.8 per cent p.a.).

SuperRatings also noted that FY23 had been characterised by increased volatility, with negative performance in five out of the 12 months of the financial year.

“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, managing volatility has really come back into focus for funds after almost a decade of steady gains,” said Mr Rappell.

“The sharp rise in inflation and global uncertainty has been a constant over the past couple of years and we expect this to persist.”

What were the best performing super funds in FY23?

The top 10 balanced super funds of the past financial year all achieved returns of more than 9.5 per cent.

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Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.

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