Australia was ranked third overall in the latest edition of the landmark transparency measure, lifted by mega-fund AustralianSuper rocketing up the chart from seventh to third place among individual asset owners.
The Global Pension Transparency Benchmark, a collaboration between Investment Magazine sister publication Top1000funds.com and CEM Benchmarking, has found Canada has been crowned the world’s most transparent national pensions market for the third year in a row.
All five of the North American country’s major pension funds were represented among the top ten in the ranking, which measures the transparency of disclosures of 75 funds and 15 pension systems across the value-generating measures of cost, governance, performance and responsible investments.
Australia was ranked third overall, splitting The Netherlands and Sweden, which were ranked second and fourth in the 2023 index, respectively.
Australia’s performance was buoyed by the improvement made by $258 billion giant AustralianSuper, which surged from seventh place overall among individual funds last year to third place and a transparency score of 87 out of 100.
It was the only local fund to make the top ten, with Aware Super ranked 12th, Australian Retirement Trust ranked equal 14th (alongside Switzerland’s Pensionskasse des Bundes) and UniSuper ranked 22nd. Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Future Fund, was ranked the world’s 32nd most transparent fund.
Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, a subsidiary of the powerful Norges Bank, took out top spot with a score of 89, while Canada’s CPP Investments was ranked second. Canada’s CDPQ, Californian fund CalPERS and fellow Canadian fund PSP rounded out the global top five.
Australia was also ranked second overall on the governance disclosure measure, and third overall for cost disclosure and performance disclosure.
However, it fell to 8th overall on disclosure of responsible investments, trumped by European funds especially.No local funds were represented among the top 10 on the responsible investing measure. AustralianSuper was ranked 11th overall on the measure, alongside the UK’s Universities Superannuation Scheme and Finland’s Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company.
Similarly, no local fund was included in the top 10 for the cost factor, with AustralianSuper and ART ranked 11th with Canada’s PSP.
On governance, AustralianSuper was ranked equal first in the world, with the Canadian funds CDPQ and CPP. In a benchmarking first, all three funds recieved a perfect score of 100 for the governance factor.
Edsart Heuberger, CEM Benchmarking’s product lead for transparency benchmarking, said: “It is heartening that the Global Pension Transparency Benchmark is stimulating discussions on transparency and driving organisations globally to improve their public disclosures. Transparency matters.”
Amanda White, editor of Top1000funds.com, said the decision to reveal the individual scores of funds had made a meaningful difference. “Transparency of these factors… is important to drive improvement of outcomes for pension funds around the world.”