Australian super funds have begun the new financial year in positive territory, with the median balanced option posting a 1.1-per-cent gain for the month of July.

Research from SuperRatings shows that the July result was driven by a 3.1-per-cent gain for Australian share options and positive contributions from property, fixed interest and cash.

A stronger Australian dollar, however, had a negative impact on returns from international markets, with the median international share option recording a 0.6-per-cent fall in July.

SuperRatings’ Jeff Bresnahan said the research showed that despite turbulent market conditions, funds were continuing to deliver to members.

“It should be remembered that the average fund has returned 17 positive returns in the past 20 years and, since the introduction of the superannuation guarantee in 1992, the average balanced option has performed in line with a CPI plus 3 to 3.35-per-cent objective,” Bresnahan said.

The SuperRatings research showed a 3-per-cent return for the median balanced option over the 12 months to July 31, and a rolling three-year return of 5.5 per cent. Over five years, however, the return is 0.2 per cent.

Bresnahan said this five-year performance needed to be viewed in the context of Australian and international share options recording falls of –1.7 per cent and –5.7 per cent, respectively.

The research was seized upon by the Industry Super Network, with chief David Whiteley highlighting that according to the SR50 Balanced index, industry funds were outperforming retail funds over one, three, five, seven and ten year to July 31

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