The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and early release superannuation regime have resulted in a 1.6% decline in Australia’s total superannuation assets.
In the first reversal of the superannuation data for many years, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s (APRA’s) September quarter performance data revealed that total superannuation assets in Australia declined to $2,891.3 billion down from $2,939.7 billion in the same period last year.
It said that total APRA-regulated assets declined by 0.8% with MySuper products declining by 3.3% and self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) assets declining by 4%.
The APRA analysis said the 1.6% reduction in the value of total superannuation assets over the 12 months to 30 September 2020 was “primarily a result of investment losses sustained across the industry during the March quarter”.
“Total contributions increased 2.9% over the year to 30 September 2020,” it said. “Whilst annual member contributions of $23.3 billion were 1.8% lower than the previous year, employer contributions were buoyed by Job Keeper payments and increased by 4.1%.”
“Benefit payments for the September 2020 quarter of $33.9 billion were slightly lower than the $36.9 billion paid during the prior quarter. Benefit payments for the year to September 2020 were $112.3 billion, including approximately $34 billion paid under the Early Release Scheme which came into effect on 20 April 2020. Net contribution flows were negative for a second consecutive quarter (-$6.4 billion) and were $10.2 billion for the year.”