May 29, 2024

Super pool jumps to AUD $3.9tn


Superannuation assets soared to $3.9 trillion, jumping 11.3% at the end of March despite the number of APRA-regulated funds shrinking.

The latest APRA statistics show that a wave of contributions drove the momentum as well as investments returning 10.9% p.a.

Across the sectors, industry super funds lead the pack by leaping 17% year on year to hit $1.3 trillion. Retail funds grew 11% p.a. to $735 billion, while public sector funds grew 9% to $542.1 billion.

Self-managed super funds (SMSFs) grew 9% p.a. to reach $932.9 billion.

Corporate super funds bucked the trend, shrinking 18% on the prior corresponding period to end up with $46.7 billion at the end of March.

There are now only seven active corporate super funds on APRA's register.

TelstraSuper flagging in early May that it is mulling merger avenues is another nail in the coffin for the corporate super fund sector.

The $26 billion super fund was created in 1990 exclusively for Telstra employees. It is now open to the public and less than one quarter of the fund's 84,000 members work for Telstra.

There are now 64 active retail super funds; six shuttered during the period. Industry super funds remain stable at 22, while public sector funds lost two to finish at 12.

Overall, there are currently 1359 APRA-regulated funds, 14 fewer than the prior year.

Conversely, there were 616,400 SMSFs in total, up 3% from 596,370 year on year.

Separately, Treasury is seeking feedback on the proposed levies for APRA affecting the 2024-25 financial year.

Treasury estimates it will cost a net total of $246.1 million in FY25 to recover APRA's operational costs - up 10% year on year. APRA's total operating expenses, however, are expected to blow out to $270.2 million or 13% higher.

Treasury estimates that the super funds will have to fork out $73.7 million for APRA to supervise the sector.

Funding from the superannuation industry represents 41.4% of total levies, Treasury calculated in its discussion paper.

APRA will focus its activities assessing trustees' policies, processes, and practices in delivering good member outcome to enforce Prudential Standard CPS 230 Operational Risk Management, and transparency in administering the legislated performance test and heatmaps.

The consultation runs until June 11.