Australian super funds are at their highest level in some years – just 1.4 per cent under their pre-global financial crisis highs, according to research house SuperRatings.

The performance results come as Sunsuper announced it had reached $20 billion under management, after 15-per-cent growth in the last year.

Sunsuper now has 1.2 million members and has added an average 11,000 new members a month.

The SuperRatings report on performance to the end of August says funds also saw the first month of positive returns across all asset classes since March of this year.

The SR50 Balanced Index shows a 2.7-per-cent increase for the financial year to August 31, and a 1.64-per-cent gain for the month of August.

The August return represented the seventh month this calendar year in which Australian funds have yielded a positive return, in contrast to 2011 when losses were posted in seven of the eight final months of the year.

SuperRatings founder, Jess Bresnahan, said that the results meant it would take a significant turnaround in markets for 2012 to be anything but a “solid result” for major funds.

The rolling one-year return is 6.49 per cent, three years is 5.03 per cent, while five years is 0.34 per cent.

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