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Poor retail, industry fund returns drive SMSF growth

Krystine Lumanta  |  31 Oct 2012Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  

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Krystine Lumanta is a journalist with InvestorDaily, a Sterling publication.


Dwindling satisfaction with retail and industry funds has been a major contributor to the rapid growth of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs), the latest Roy Morgan Research report has revealed.

According to the findings from its 2012 Superannuation Satisfaction report, member satisfaction with the financial performance of industry super funds in September was 48.9 per cent, ahead of the 42.5 per cent result for retail funds.

SMSFs recorded the highest satisfaction result at 64.2 per cent.

"Our research shows that the major reason that people are switching to SMSFs is associated with the poor investment performance and the level of fees and charges, and as a result, their funds are moving from retail and to a lesser extent, industry funds, into SMSFs," a Roy Morgan Research spokesperson said.

"While a great deal of discussion over recent times has been about the level of fees associated with super and the need to minimise these, the question of looking at them in conjunction with performance has not received so much attention."

The consistently below average result for the retail super funds, in terms of client satisfaction with performance, had been evident over the last 10 years, the report said.

As a result, the sector was struggling against the more rapidly growing SMSF and industry funds.

The report aimed to measure what Australians thought about their fund's financial performance, as it was what would ultimately determine their action.

"There is a strong correlation between satisfaction with superannuation financial performance and the likelihood of switching funds," the spokesperson said.

"The ease of switching super funds and the increase in people using SMSFs [meant] that the retail sector will increasingly rely on its adviser network and advice to retain customers, but at the same time be acting in the best interest of their clients."

The report was based on over 30,000 Australians with superannuation.