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Super contributions rise despite ERS

Contributions to superannuation in the June quarter were mildly greater than the amount removed due to the government's early release scheme, according to the latest figures published by APRA.

Contributions in the June 2020 quarter were $33.6 billion, while lump sum payments out totaled $26.8 billion for the June quarter, up 77.7% from the March quarter due to ERS.

Total contributions marked an increase of 17% from the March 2020 quarter ($28.7 billion) but 1.4% less than in the June 2019 quarter.

Personal contributions for the June 2020 quarter ($7.8 billion) were particularly soft, recording the lowest June quarter figure since June 2016.

Total contributions for the year ending June 2020 were $120.6 billion, while there were $37.4 billion in total benefit payments in the June 2020 quarter.

The increase reflected a spike in lump sum payments caused by the ERS scheme that commenced on 20 April 2020.

Lump sum payments totalled $26.8 billion in the quarter while pension payments totalled $10.7 billion.

Quarterly net contribution flows to the industry were negative (down $2.3 million) for the first time since compulsory superannuation was introduced.

Net contribution flows for the year ending June 2020 were $23.5 billion.

Total superannuation assets totalled $2.9 trillion at the end of the June 2020 quarter, down 0.6% compared to June 2019.

Total assets in MySuper products were $731.3 billion at the end of the June 2020 quarter; this is also down 3.3% compared to the same period last year.

The industry-wide rate of return (ROR) for funds with more than four members for the June 2020 quarter was 6.0% which was a partial recovery from the negative 10.3% return achieved in the March 2020 quarter.

Over the June 2020 quarter, total assets increased by 3.7% (or $73.3 billion) to $2.1 trillion.

As at the end of the June 2020 quarter, 49.2% of the $1.8 trillion investments were invested in equities, with 24.1% in international listed equities, 21% in Australian listed equities and 4.1% in unlisted equities.

Fixed income and cash investments accounted for 33.6% of investments, with 20% in fixed income and 13.6% in cash.

Property and infrastructure accounted for 14.2% of investments whilst other assets, including hedge funds and commodities, accounted for 3.1%.

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