October boost for super satisfaction

Super fund satisfaction has increased 0.6% to 61% in October, although it’s still down 3.1% from a year ago, according to data from Roy Morgan’s ‘Superannuation Satisfaction Report’. 

The monthly increase of 0.6% was the first month-on-month increase since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The most recent ratings covered the period since May 2020, during which time Australians were able to withdraw two tranches of up $10,000 of their superannuation. 

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The largest increase by sector was for self-managed funds (SMSFs) which increased 1.5% to 65.3%, but it also had the largest year-over-year decline and dropped 10.4%. 

Public sector funds increased 1.3% to 71.5% and had the highest rating for the fifth month in a row, while industry funds were up 0.4% to 62.5% and retails funds were 0.1% to 53.6%. 

UniSuper had the highest customer satisfaction rating of the industry funds, ahead of Cbus, Hostplus, CareSuper, AustralianSuper, First State Super and HESTA. 

BT was the highest-placed retail fund followed by OnePath, Colonial First State, Mercer and MLC. 

Michele Levine, Roy Morgan chief executive, said the increased customer satisfaction for superannuation funds was a positive sign as Australia looked to recover from the devastating impact of COVID-19. 

“Satisfaction with the financial performance of superannuation funds increased across all four sectors in October – the first time this has happened since COVID-19 hit Australia earlier this year,” Levine said. 

“There has been positive news on the economic front as well as the latest Australian GDP figures for the September 2020 quarter showed an Australian economy returning to growth with a gross domestic product (GDP) increase of 3.3% the largest quarterly increase for more than forty years.  

“The growth in GDP came despite the Victorian economy spending almost the entire quarter in a second lockdown which only ended in late October.” 

Levine said the latest Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) on super withdrawal requests showed fewer than half of the initial 3.4 million applications had followed up with a second application. 

“A total of $35.3 billion has now been disbursed under the scheme but less than 10% of that money has been paid out since the end of August,” Levine said. 

“The ASX 200 is now comfortably above 6,600 points in early December and up more than 45% since closing under 4,600 in late March as Australia went into the first nationwide lockdown. 

“The positive news about several vaccines released during the last few weeks suggests 2021 should be a year of recovery and strong growth for both the broader economy and superannuation funds.” 

The report’s findings were from Roy Morgan Single Source, which was compiled by in-depth interviews with over 50,000 Australians each year. 

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