The median balanced superannuation fund rose 2% in March as the bounce back of the labour market restored household confidence and consumer spending rebooted, according to SuperRatings.
The research house said the median growth option rose 2.4% during the month, while the median capital stable option rose 0.9%. Over the 2020-21 financial year to date, the median balanced option returned 12.2%.
Pension returns were also positive with the median balanced pension option returning 2.1% in March, and 13.2% over the financial year to date. The median pension growth option retuned 2.5% in March, and the median capital s table option gain 1%.
However, SuperRatings said super fund members should expect markets to remain volatile but 2021 would experience ongoing recovery as the job market improved and economic activity picked up.
It noted that for younger members, long-term trends like the digitisation of economies and work automation might prove to have the biggest impact on the growth of their retirement savings.
SuperRatings executive director, Kirby Rappell, said: “The real bright spot has been the bounce back in the labour market, which has restored confidence to households and helped reboot consumer spending. The reopening of the economy and the low or zero rates of community transmission we’ve experienced in Australia in recent months have galvanised the recovery.
“The vaccine story has been key to the recent rise in markets and super fund balances.
“However, there will likely be a period of adjustment, including some scarring effects from business closures and job losses, that we'll need to navigate as we enter the new normal, but these should prove temporary. Overall, while the pandemic is certainly not over, we do foresee a period of greater stability for members.”