Catholic super fund top performer

With a net return of over 17 per cent reported for the current financial year, the 32,000-member Catholic Superannuation Fund is Australia's top performing fund according to an industry ratings service.

With huge sums of money flowing into the sharemarket as people take advantage of the government's tax breaks, Australian super funds are heading for the best returns in a decade, The Age reports.

Balanced funds, the default option for most people, have returned a median 13.53 per cent for the financial year to 30 April, according to a SuperRatings report.

But the best performer, the 32,000-member Catholic Superannuation Fund, has reported a 17.2 per cent return after fees and taxes - with two months still to go.

SuperRatings managing director Jeff Bresnahan said it looked like the industry would pass last year's median 14.5 per cent return, unless there was a sharemarket "meltdown" between now and June 30.

"This is the fourth year of double-digit returns, and well above what the funds are aiming for," he said. "It's been a bottler of a year."

Australian superannuation funds returned more than 13 per cent in 2003-04 and 2004-05 but were in the red in 2001-02.

Catholic Superannuation Fund chief investment officer Tim Hughes said the "truly extraordinary investment markets" had helped boost the $2.6 billion invested on behalf of Catholic school teachers. But an emphasis on hedge funds and property investments had been the main reason for the balanced funds' exceptional performance, he said.

Super rakes in decade's best return (The Age, 23/5/07)
Super returns closing on record (Money Management, 22/5/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Superannuation Fund
Super Ratings

23 May 2007