The inaugural report, How Australia Saves, a collaboration between Vanguard Investments Australia and Sunsuper, shows the Australian system has the fastest growth rate of any developed economy pension system, at a compound growth rate of 7.9 per cent per annum.
The report was released in time for the 25th anniversary of the superannuation guarantee that commenced on 1 July 1992.
Despite over $2.1 trillion in total assets, at approximately 126 per cent of the GDP, the Australian system has yet to hit full maturity, with older members of the current workforce having experienced the lower contribution rates of the superannuation guarantee.
“Amid ongoing discourse about the system’s efficacy in the face of regulatory change, varied levels of member engagement and volatile investment markets, How Australia Saves shows that by and large the system is delivering on its core purpose, Vanguard’s senior manager superannuation policy, and co-author of the report, Paul Murphy said.
The report specifically looked at the transaction behaviour and investment experience of more than one million Sunsuper members over five financial years to 30 June 2016.
Eight-three per cent of members were life cycle investors, 12 per cent self-directed investors and the remaining 5 per cent were diversified balanced investors.
Self-directed investors had the greatest dispersion of risk and return outcomes, with surprisingly few of them experiencing better return outcomes than the default life cycle strategy over the five-year period.