Total assets in the Australian pension industry have inched closer to the magic half-a-trillion mark, growing by 12.9% in the year to December 2000 to reach A$495.3bn.
The latest figures from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) show total assets in the pension industry grew by A$6.4bn in the three months to December and by A$56.6bn in calendar year 2000 to reach the new high.
But the growth rate was almost 4% slower than the previous 12 months, reflecting in part the decline in world equity markets over the second half of 2000.
Overall contributions to pension funds by both members and employers were also down on the preceding 12 months, falling from A$50.7bn to A$47.3bn in 2000.
The figures from APRA also show that the share of Australian pension assets invested in overseas markets continues to grow, rising to 19.7% of total pension assets (A$97.4bn) by the end of 2000, up from 19.2% at the end of 1999 and 17% at the end of 1998.
Total assets in the Australian pension industry are expected to almost double to A$930bn by 2010 and almost double again to reach A$1700bn by 2020.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has set out plans to use "new regulatory initiatives" with over 1,000 schemes as it aims to tighten its regulatory grip and boost member outcomes.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced it is delaying the provision of data that will enable pension schemes to confirm the guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) benefits to pay to members until the end of the year.
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