Leading the way for members - Annual Report 2022

6 October 2022

AustralianSuper’s purpose is to help members achieve their best financial position in retirement. The 2022 Annual Report lets members and non-members see how we continue to deliver for members. It provides a summary of AustralianSuper’s investment performance, operations, and financial position for the 12-month period to 30 June 2022.

Super is a long-term investment. As at 30 June 2022, AustralianSuper’s flagship Balanced investment option was ranked number 2 over 7, 10 and 20 year performance1. This makes it a top-performing fund over the long term. This is key to helping members achieve their best financial outcome in retirement.

 

Leading the way for members

AustralianSuper Chair Dr Don Russell says AustralianSuper has a long history of industry leadership, which has held the Fund in good stead as it’s been called on to navigate changes in the Australian market and the global economy.

‘We’ve found that periods of market volatility can create new investment opportunities, and that’s exactly what we’re focused on,’ says Dr Russell.

‘AustralianSuper was the first Australian superannuation fund to bring significant investment capability in-house and the first to establish offices in global markets. We have set up offices in London, UK and New York, USA. We were also the first superannuation fund to voluntarily publish extensive detail about our investment holdings.’

‘We use our strong voice to advocate for reforms to Australia’s superannuation system, so it can be the world’s best system for members.’

‘We use our strong voice to advocate for reforms to Australia’s superannuation system, so it can be the world’s best system for members.’

Snapshot of FY22 at AustralianSuper

 

1. Strong long-term performance

Over the last 10 years the Balanced investment option has delivered an average annual return of 9.32%2. Over 20 years the average annual return is 7.84%2. For the Balanced option for Choice Income accounts, the 10-year average annual return is 10.27%2.

The 2022 financial year (1 July 2021 – 30 June 2022) was a volatile time for investment markets. High inflation and rising interest rates contributed to negative returns in members’ retirement savings over a one-year period. For members in the Balanced option, the FY22 annual return was -2.73%. For members in the Balanced option for Choice Income retirement accounts, the FY22 annual return was -3.02%.

To put these results in perspective, this was the Balanced option’s first negative financial year return since 2009 and only 1 of 4 negative financial year returns since the Fund was set up in August 19853. Over the long-term, returns remain strong. This is key as super is a long-term investment. Even members in or close to retirement could still be invested for another 20 years.

Chief Investment Officer Mark Delaney says, ‘Market ups and downs are a normal part of investing and the AustralianSuper investment team is well prepared to invest through these market conditions’.

Members should be reassured by the knowledge that the Fund’s long-term investment performance has been consistently strong. It’s also important to be aware of the risks of switching accounts due to market changes.

 

Download: 2022 Annual Report (PDF)

 

2. Growing your retirement savings - growing the Australian economy

AustralianSuper is a fund for all Australians and is Australia’s largest super fund. We have over $130 billion invested in Australian companies and assets. These investments help to build members’ retirement savings. They also contribute to Australia’s economic growth and prosperity.

If you’re a member you may be invested in:

  • ASX-listed companies
  • unlisted Australian companies
  • large infrastructure projects and assets
  • commercial property assets
  • Government and corporate bonds
  • direct loans to Australian companies
  • and cash.

Each of these investments contributes to long-term returns. They also have the benefit of contributing to a resilient Australian economy.

In times of market volatility, we play an important role in helping Australian companies navigate uncertainty. The size and scale of our investments means we can provide certainty of funding that allows them to continue operating, to support innovation, and to invest in assets that underpin members’ every-day life such as roads and telecommunications.

 

3. ESG, stewardship and responsible investment

We believe well governed investments with good environmental, social and governance (ESG) management leads to better long-term investment outcomes for members. We’re active investment owners. This means we play a part in how our investments are managed. We actively guide (steward) our capital and use our influence as a large investor to generate positive ESG outcomes. This work helps to create sustainable long-term value for members, while having a positive impact on ESG issues globally. This can include tackling climate change issues, and highlighting issues in supply chains which can lead to modern slavery practices.

Tackling modern slavery with your super

 

AustralianSuper considers a broad range of ESG impacts but prioritises those which we believe present the greatest risks and opportunities to members’ investment returns. As a large, direct investor in some of Australia’s largest companies we have access to the key decision makers in the companies we invest in. We use our influence to encourage companies to appoint well-functioning and diverse Boards, deliver better environmental and social outcomes, and provide appropriate executive pay.

Recognised as a Responsible Investment Leader

AustralianSuper has been recognised as a Responsible Investment Leader 2022 by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) across both the super fund and asset manager studies. The RIAA champions responsible investing and sustainable financial systems in Australia and New Zealand. Their annual study of the super sector identified AustralianSuper as a leading responsible investment super fund for its high degree of transparency and incorporation of environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations in investment decisions.

Find out more: Environmental, Social and Governance management

 

4. Financial advice members can trust

Members have access to a team of qualified financial advisers, who work daily to help them plan their retirement outcomes. This includes a network of over 170 external financial advisers who are registered with the Fund. These financial advisers can support their clients in understanding the Fund’s investment products and services4.

In the financial year to 30 June 2022 almost 20,000 members contacted the Fund for help and advice. Over 90% of all advice provided towards the end of the financial year was investment related. Many of these members were seeking advice in relation to movements in investment markets.

Our teams are here to help any member who may need some support during times of change. Whether market related, or life related, such as starting a family, moving house, or changing work conditions. More than 8,000 members received a personalised Statement of Advice helping them towards their financial goals. This is an increase of 11% since the previous year. Under 5,000 received written general advice guides on retirement options, account consolidation and super health checks4.

FIND OUT MORE: FINANCIAL ADVICE OPTIONS FOR MEMBERS

 

Webinars with our education team

AustralianSuper members can access a range of member education services – from online interactive webinars through to workplace education.

Find a webinar today

 

5. Insurance through your super

AustralianSuper provides most members with basic insurance cover with their super account. This cover provides a basic level of protection if you die or become ill or injured. AustralianSuper’s insurer, TAL, has among the highest claims admittance rates, the quickest approval times and the lowest dispute rates in the industry for the year to December 2021, based on the ASIC Moneysmart claims comparison tool.

This year, the Fund assisted 2,048 members in lodging claims with return-to-work support. There were 1,267 Income Protection claimants who returned to work this year on a partial or full-time basis, who had lodged claims this year and in the previous financial year.

AustralianSuper is run only to benefit members, so members only pay what it costs us to administer and provide their insurance. Insurance through your super is one of the most cost-effective ways for members to access the benefits of insurance.

READ MORE: INSURANCE COVER THROUGH YOUR SUPER

 

References

  1. AustralianSuper Balanced investment option compared to the SuperRatings Fund Crediting Rate Survey, SR50 Balanced (60-76) Index to 30 June 2022. Returns from equivalent investment options of the ARF and STA super funds are used for periods before 1 July 2006. Investment returns aren’t guaranteed. Past performance isn’t a reliable indicator of future returns. 
  2. AustralianSuper performance data as at 30 June 2022. Returns from equivalent investment options of the ARF and STA super funds are used for periods before 1 July 2006. Investment returns aren’t guaranteed. Past performance isn’t a reliable indicator of future returns.
  3. Returns from equivalent investment options of the ARF and STA super funds are used for periods before 1 July 2006.
  4. Personal financial product advice is provided under the Australian Financial Services Licence held by a third party and not by AustralianSuper Pty Ltd. Fees may apply.

 

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 australiansuper.com/pds 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.com/TMD. AustralianSuper Pty Ltd ABN 94 006 457 987, AFSL 233788, Trustee of AustralianSuper ABN 65 714 394 898.

 


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