Member Retirement Investment Behaviour and Performance

PAUL GERRANS, UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA, JUN FENG, MONASH UNIVERSITY, CARLY MOULANG, MONASH UNIVERSITY, GORDON CLARK, OXFORD UNIVERSITY

10 December 2016

This paper provides a preliminary analysis of performance of employee’s workplace superannuation accounts. We utilise a diverse sample of Australian workers drawn from a large national superannuation trust over a time period spanning the global financial crisis. We consider performance in terms of growth in a member’s account balance and the relative role of gross contributions and investment returns in the account balance. We investigate the performance of the minority of members who change their investment strategy relative to those who remain in the sub-plan’s default investment option. Within a savings scheme which is fundamentally longterm, we highlight the vagaries of short-term performance which is influenced by factors within and external to the member’s control.*

*We would like to acknowledge the invaluable research assistance of Jacqui Whale, UWA Business School.