Super funds take a $44bn hit

Volatility in the world’s financial markets has wiped billions of dollars from Australians’ superannuation savings in recent months.

New data from research house Chant West shows that the latest sharp downturn in the equity markets has cut an estimated 3.5 per cent from growth-style accounts, the Australian reported.

According to the figures, the loss last month alone was an estimated 2.7 per cent, meaning that super funds have now seen their values fall by more than $44 billion since the end of March.

However, despite the falls, super fund members have been boosted by gains earlier in the financial year with average balanced super funds up 9.8 per cent in the year to date.

SuperRatings chief executive Jeff Bresnahan told the Australian: "The markets have been extraordinarily volatile, where instead of swings of 0-2 per cent in a month, we have seen swings of 4-6 per cent."

Such news may interest Aussies wishing to compare term deposits in search of more stable returns. Writing for Illawarra Mercury this week, Narelle Clay, chief executive officer of the Southern Youth and Family Services Association, claimed that continuing pay inequalities mean that women retire with less than half the amount of savings in their superannuation accounts as men.

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