Aussie super funds drop in world rankings

Australia's superannuation funds have dropped in the global ranking of the world's largest pension funds.

According to Willis Towers Watson's latest Thinking Ahead Institute/Pensions and Investments World 300 report, Australia's super funds have had a rough 12 months.

The report ranks the world's 300 largest pension funds according to assets under management, and like in 2018, several Australian funds again made the cut.

However a struggling Aussie dollar - which lost 10% against the US dollar across 2018 - saw 14 of those super funds go backwards in this year's rankings, while another - TelstraSuper - dropped out entirely.

"This, above all other factors, is the primary reason that saw 14 of the 16 Australian funds included in the global 300 drop in ranking this year," WTW investments director Martin Goss said.

The biggest movements were among government funds primarily, with State Super dropping 22 positions and ESSSuper sliding 24 spots.

However, two industry funds actually bucked the trend of Australian funds and climbed the ranks: Hostplus picked up nine positions, moving to the 186th biggest fund in the world, while Sunsuper also grew, hitting 106th from its previous position of 116th.

Goss said the industry funds overall fared better than their government counterparts, dropping just two places on average compared with an average slide of 16 positions for government funds.

"Why did that happen? I believe it's because the government-related funds in the survey are in a more mature phase and they don't have the same net cash inflow as the industry funds," Goss said.

"Industry funds are still in a growth phase and seeing the benefits of ongoing consolidation - even if the rate of consolidation in 2018 was slower than in previous years."

Read more: Martin GossState SuperSunsuperWillis Towers WatsonWTW
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