Default superannuation funds have fully recovered from COVID-induced losses, yet underperformance within the asset classes remains rife, according to new Rainmaker data.
Rainmaker's November 2020 MySuper index has reached a record high, bouncing back 15% since March 2020. November saw the local and international share markets rally. The ASX200 returned 10.2% while global stock markets gained 7.5%. Consequently, the MySuper Index registered 2.4% on a year-to-date basis.
In the year to November, Australian Ethical Super's default fund (6.1%p.a.) was the best performer.
Vision Super (4.8%p.a.), BUSSQ (4.6%p.a.), UniSuper (4.4%p.a.) and Cbus (4.2%p.a.) made the top five list of the best performers.
Drilling down to the performance of the different investment options, only two asset classes outperformed: international equities and cash.
On a median basis, Australian equities investment options underperformed the ASX index by 0.8% in the 12 months to November. Fixed interest options underperformed while property options also failed to deliver above the benchmark.
"Despite this systemic underperformance, some super funds deliver stellar returns. Vision Super has Australia's top-performing investment option. It delivered 69%," the report read.
Vision Super's Innovation and Disruption option topped the international equities category, followed by UniSuper's Global Environmental Opportunities (40.6%p.a.), AustralianSuper's International Shares (14.6%p.a.), Equip MyFuture's Overseas Shares (14%p.a.) and Hostplus' International Shares (13%p.a.).
UniSuper's Global Environmental Opportunities topped the ESG equities options category, followed by Mercer's Socially Responsible Global Shares Unhedged (7.7%p.a.).
The performance edge ESG investments are delivering is showing no signs of abating, Rainmaker said.
"The Rainmaker ESG Diversified Index returned 3.3% over the 12-month period, outperforming the MySuper index by 120 basis points."