Telstra Super delivered an industry-leading 15.8% return among Australian superannuation funds for the fiscal year ended June 30, said Sydney-based superannuation research firm SuperRatings Pty. Ltd
The A$16 billion (US$15 billion), Melbourne-based corporate fund's balanced option — defined by SuperRatings as funds with portfolio exposure to growth assets of between 60% and 76% — bested the 14% return for the next closest fund, A$1.5 billion Intrust Super, Brisbane, by 180 basis points.
In third place, with a 13.9% gain, was the A$40 billion UniSuper, Melbourne.
The median return for the 50 big superannuation funds covered by SuperRatings' annual survey was 12.7% for the latest fiscal year, a second year in a row of solid double-digit gains, although two percentage points lower than the prior year's 14.7% advance.
In a telephone interview, Kirby Rappell, SuperRatings' Sydney-based research manager, said heavy exposure to growth assets and alternatives powered Telstra Super's gains.
Telstra's website showed allocations for its balanced fund of 28% Australian equity, 27% international equity, 10% to real estate, 5% each infrastructure and private equity, 3% hedge funds and 2% credit. Among defensive assets, the fund had allocations of 9% Australian bonds, 5% international bonds, 4% cash and 2% income securities.
The latest year's stellar returns lifted Telstra Super to the top of the performance charts for the five years through June 30 as well, with an annualized gain of 10.7%. REST Super, with more than A$25 billion, came in second with an annualized 10.6% return for the period, followed by A$18 billion GESB Super with an annualized 10.2% gain.
Jim Christensen, Telstra's chief investment officer, couldn't be reached for comment.