Balanced option delivers best return in over 35 years

4 July 2021

AustralianSuper members in the Balanced option have seen a bumper 20.43% return on their savings for the 2021 financial year. This is the biggest financial year return members have seen since the option was started over 35 years ago1. This is great news for members and is a result of the Fund’s expertise, size, scale, and long-term investment view.

AustralianSuper’s investment team has navigated market changes and used the Fund’s size and scale to continue to deliver leading2 long-term performance for millions of members.


An investment return to members in the Balanced option of 20.43%

Members in the Balanced option have received a return of 20.43% for the financial year ending 30 June 2021. The highest return the Fund has seen since it was started 15 years ago in July 2006.

AustralianSuper’s Chief Investment Officer Mark Delaney says the end of financial year result was great news for members during very trying times.

‘AustralianSuper continues to deliver for members by achieving our 12th consecutive year of positive returns,’ Mark says. ‘This is the biggest return members have seen in the Balanced option since AustralianSuper started 15 years ago, and the option began over 35 years ago.’

AustralianSuper’s Balanced option continues to perform. To 30 June 2021, it has returned 9.56% over 3 years, 10.44% a year over 5 years, 9.73% a year over 10 years, and 7.49% a year over 15 years. $50,000 invested with the Balanced option from the Fund’s inception in 2006 would be worth $147,8593 at 30 June 2021.

This is the biggest financial year return AustralianSuper members have seen.

Balanced option returns to 30 June 2021

  Balanced Option Choice Income Balanced Option
1 Year 20.43% 22.30%
3 Years pa 9.56% 10.41%
5 Years pa 10.44% 11.36%
7 Years pa 9.63% 10.56%
10 Years pa 9.73% 10.77%
15 Years pa 7.49% N/A

Source: AustralianSuper data.

Rewarding results for members after a year of challenges

At the end of the 2020 financial year, Australia was experiencing the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. It proved extremely challenging for all economies including in Australia – devastating some industries and causing a huge downturn in trade and revenue. Investment markets reacted to the uncertainty on a global scale, with share markets experiencing increased volatility.

Despite the conditions in 2020, AustralianSuper returned a positive result to members of 0.52% for the Balanced option and 0.55% for Choice Income members. It was one of only a handful of funds to do so. One year on and things are looking very different. 

Mark says it’s a great result for the Fund to be able to support members best financial outcomes in retirement.

‘We know AustralianSuper members have faced many challenges in the past 12 months so it’s pleasing to be able to support their future financial security with a really solid return on their retirement savings.

‘It’s also pleasing to see the legislated increase in the Super Guarantee coming into effect. AustralianSuper believes increasing the Super Guarantee to 12% by 2025, as has been legislated, is in best interests of Fund members,’ he says.



The importance of a long-term investment view

Mark notes that the sustained strong investment performance of AustralianSuper again demonstrated that members can trust AustralianSuper’s experience in navigating volatile markets.

‘We’ve seen yet again that markets recover after downturns, which reinforces the fact that maintaining long-term discipline increases the potential for long-term investment success,’ he says.

‘We believe that most members are better off when they stay invested in a diversified portfolio throughout the market ups and downs.’



Mark says he expects pent-up consumer demand, along with government stimulus programs and low interest rates to continue to support economic recovery and improve returns for growth assets.

‘AustralianSuper is a long-term investor and we have a pro-growth stance in allocating assets in the Balanced option,’ he says. ‘That means that we have a higher allocation to growth assets such as listed shares and private equity and we are continuing to pursue opportunities in infrastructure, private equity, property and credit assets which we expect will deliver long-term growth for members.’

AustralianSuper is a long-term investor and we have a pro-growth stance in allocating assets in the Balanced option.
Growth of a $50,000 super balance over the long and short term

The below chart shows how much your balance would've grown, from a starting point of $50,000, over 1, 3, 5, 7, 10 and 15 year periods to 30 June 2021.

For example, if you had a balance of $50,000 15 years ago your super would now be $147,859. If you started 5 years ago with a balance of $50,000 your super would now be $82,155.

  Performance Value of $50,000 balance
1 Year 20.43% $60,216
3 Years pa 9.56% $65,778
5 Years pa 10.44% $82,155
7 Years pa 9.63% $95,219
10 Years pa 9.73% $126,608
15 Years pa 7.49% $147,859

Source: AustralianSuper data.

View the investment returns for all options and those in the retirement phase.




  1. AustralianSuper data: 1987 – 2021 returns. Returns from equivalent investment options of the ARF and STA super funds are used in calculating returns for periods that begin before 1 July 2006.
  2. Doesn’t include administration, insurance and other fees and costs that are deducted from account balances.

Investment returns are not guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

This may include general financial advice which doesn’t take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision consider if the information is right for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, available at or by calling 1300 300 273. A Target Market Determination (TMD) is a document that outlines the target market a product has been designed for. Find the TMDs at

AustralianSuper Pty Ltd ABN 94 006 457 987, AFSL 233788, Trustee of AustralianSuper ABN 65 714 394 898. 

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