AUSTRALIA - Superannuation savings recently recorded the largest quarterly increase since statistics were first collected, according to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA).
New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicated that there was an 8.4% increase in super savings, which brought total superannuation assets to A$72bn in the June quarter 2007.
According to ASFA, the increase in superannuation assets was largely due to returns of around 3.5% for the average superannuation fund, meaning total investment earnings in the June quarter reached around $30bn.
An additional A$1bn went into superannuation accounts in the June quarter 2007 from the government's one-off doubling of the co-contribution for personal contributions in 2005-06.
ASFA also explained that some individuals who would have delayed taking benefits given the imminent abolition of the benefits tax for those aged 60 and over, left more money in the system.
Also, at least an additional A$14bn of large contributions went into retail, self-managed and industry super funds in the lead up to the 30 June deadline for contributions of up to A$1m.
Pauline Vamos, new CEO of ASFA, said: " The main creative elements were the additional co-contribution by the government, a rush of contributions ahead of 30 June cut off and healthy investment market performance."
In other Australian super news, Sunsuper has appointed three new managers to its investment team, allowing it to focus on alternative investment opportunities as a strategy to ensure strong growth.
The new appointees and their areas are Suzanna Berman, fixed income investments, Megan Chan, infrastructure and property assets, and Bruce Tomlinson, alternative asset opportunities.
Sunsuper’s assets under management have grown from AUS$9bn to $12.5bn over the 2006-07 fiscal year.
PTL has appointed Karein Davie as a client director in its Birmingham office.
The level of interest rate hedging increased to £29.5bn of liabilities in the second quarter as pension funds continued to de-risk, according to BMO Global Asset Management's research.
UK inflation has risen for the first time since November to 2.5% in July, up from 2.4% in June, thanks to rising fuel costs and the price of computer games.
The number of DB pension scheme trustees targeting a buyout with an insurer has increased significantly in the past five years, latest research from Willis Towers Watson shows.