The median superannuation growth fund fell 1.2% in April, according to Chant West, reversing a similar gain in March and pulling the median return of the 2021/22 financial year back to 1.2%.
With share markets down in May and with only six weeks left in the financial year, the research house estimated the financial year return would be near break-even levels at -0.5%.
Chant West senior investment research manager, Mano Mohankumar, said there was naturally a lot of focus on financial year performance around this time of the year, noting that it was important for super fund members to see things in context.
“Even if growth funds do finish the year in negative territory, that would be only the fifth time in 30 years since the introduction of compulsory super in 1992,” he said.
“Whatever the result this year it will come on the back of the 18% return in FY21, which was the second best in the history of compulsory super.
“And even in FY20, which included the COVID-induced share market meltdown, the loss was limited to just 0.6%.
“So super funds have been able to navigate successfully through the worst of the pandemic, and members should take comfort in that. Even taking into consideration the losses in May to date, the median growth fund is still up more than 10% since the pre-COVID high at the end of January 2020.”