60% of Choice funds deliver below APRA heatmap benchmark

About 60% of Choice superannuation products and 45% of MySuper products delivered returns below the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) heatmap benchmark due to investment returns.

APRA released today its annual MySuper heatmap along with the first Choice heatmap. The two heatmaps overed 60% of member benefits in the APRA-regulated superannuation sector.

Key insights from the MySuper heatmap included:

  • About 45% of MySuper products (31 out of 69) delivered returns below APRA’s heatmap benchmarks;
  • Twenty-two MySuper products have closed since the release of the first MySuper Heatmap; of those 22 products, three failed the Your Future, Your Super performance test in 2021;
  • Investment returns are the primary driver of underperformance; and
  • Fees and costs for MySuper products are declining, but there remains considerable scope for further reductions.
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Analysis of the Choice heatmap showed:

  • About 60% of investment options in the Choice Heatmap delivered returns below APRA’s heatmap benchmarks over seven years, with over 25% of options delivering significantly poor returns;
  • Performance of choice products varies considerably more than MySuper products; and
  • Fees and costs of choice products are considerably higher than MySuper products, without obvious benefit in financial outcomes for members.

Executive board member, Margaret Cole, said APRA would further intensify its supervision on the trustees of products that had been shown up on the heatmaps as delivering sub-standard member outcomes.

“Superannuation members deserve confidence that their retirement savings are being well-looked after, regardless of what type of fund or product their money is invested in,” she said.

“Although there have been benefits generated for members from industry consolidation and reductions in fees in recent years, these heatmaps show there remains considerable room for improvement in member outcomes.

“In particular, a sizable proportion of the choice sector has been exposed for delivering poor outcomes, especially considering these products generally charge higher fees than their MySuper equivalents.”

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