Personal super returns


Why can your personal net rate of return be different to the published figures of your investment option(s)? This is something that members are often curious about regardless of which investment option they have. 

Your Annual Super Statement, will show your personal net rate of return, and it is often different to the published performance figures of the investment option(s) that you’re invested in.

And there’s a good reason for this.

Video: What is a personal net rate of return?

What are a super fund’s published performance figures?

The published performance figures, or earnings of your investment option(s), are generally published on super funds’ websites – and at BT, we publish them monthly. 

The published performance figures relate to that particular investment option’s overall performance during that time. These published performance figures are calculated as an aggregate of all of the members’ balances invested in the same investment option over a reporting period – usually 12 months less tax on investment earnings, investment management costs, and administration fees. 

Super funds publish the returns of their different investment options so members can see how they are performing, and to see how their super fund is managing the overall investments.

Check the latest performance figures

What is a personal net rate of return?

While it is important to keep track of how your investment options are performing, it’s also a good idea to know how your personal super account has performed. 

When you receive your BT Annual Super Statement, you’ll see a figure called your personal (net) rate of return.

While published performance figures are specific to your investment options, your personal net rate of return also takes into consideration the size and timing of the transactions that happen in your account.

Simply put, your personal net rate of return is effectively the amount by which your individual super account has increased or decreased over the reporting period, as a result of any investment earnings, contributions (either from your employer or personal), and withdrawals (e.g. insurance premiums, fees, rollovers, benefit payments).

The size and timing of any of your transactions will have an impact on your personal net rate of return as these are dependent on movements in the market.

Take for example someone who contributed $5,000, and someone else who contributed $25,000, or someone who withdrew say $10,000 – these may have occurred at different times during the year and on days when market prices may have been higher or lower. 

This means that your return is what’s called ‘dollar weighted’ and the timing of the returns is based on the timing of the activity in your account which is why your personal rate of return is often different to the published performance of the investment option(s) you’re invested in.

Why don’t all super funds publish their members’ personal net rates of return?

You may find that other super funds don’t publish a member’s individual, or personal net rate of return, and they may simply provide investment earnings on your statement.

At BT, we do this to give you full transparency of the return on your money based on the activity in your account, which is unique to you. 

This way you can have more visibility over how your account transaction activity can influence your super’s performance.

What to look for if the returns are different?

If your personal net rate of return differs to the published performance return of your investment option(s), here are some considerations when you check your Annual Super Statement for the relevant financial year:

  • How long have you been in the investment option(s)? The returns will be affected by how long you’ve had your account open.
  • Were there any transactions processed on your account and when did they happen? The size and timing of your account activity can influence the returns.
  • Remember it’s time in the market, not timing the market. With regular contributions (like Super Guarantee) your super buys more units when prices are low, and less when prices are high, effectively averaging out the cost of your investment.

Key points

  • Published performance figures of your investment option(s) are not the same as a personal net rate of return on your Annual Super Statement.

  • It’s all in the timing. Almost every underlying unit price in your super will fluctuate daily, so depending on what activity occurs on your account (contribution/withdrawal) will impact your personal net rate of return.

  • The size of a transaction (either contribution or withdrawal) will impact your personal net rate of return.

  • A published rate of return for an investment option can’t be compared with your personal net rate of return. 

  • Your personal net rate of return is the true reflection of how your own money has performed based on the activity in your account.

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Things you should know

This information is current as 23 August 2021.

a) The information is prepared by BT Funds Management Limited ABN 63 002 916 458 (BTFM) the trustee of BT Super for Life, BT Super for Life Westpac Group Plan and BT Super part of the superannuation fund Retirement Wrap ABN 39 827 542 991.

This information has been prepared as general advice only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it. Read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to see if these products are right for you by visiting Any tax considerations are general statements based on current tax law. You should obtain your own tax advice about your personal circumstances.

BTFM is a member of the Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 (Westpac) group of companies. An investment in a BTFM product is not an investment in, deposit with or any other liability of Westpac, any division of Westpac or any other company in the Westpac Group. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Westpac and its related entities do not stand behind or otherwise guarantee the capital value or investment performance of the product or any related assets of the product.

© BT – Part of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714.