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Global market turmoil caused by the coronavirus has wiped out a year’s growth for Australia’s pensions industry, the world’s fourth-biggest pot of retirement savings.
Assets under management fell 7.7% to A$2.73 trillion ($1.8 trillion) in the three months to March 31, back to almost the same level it was a year ago, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority data published Tuesday showed. That’s a marked turnaround for an industry that’s used to exponential growth, with 9.5% of a worker’s gross salary paid into a retirement fund each month.
The drop came as funds sold stocks and boosted cash holdings in preparation to pay out billions of dollars to members allowed to access their retirement savings early under the government’s emergency response to the virus. APRA regulated pension funds suffered A$210.7 billion of investment losses during the period, which saw equity markets from Sydney to Hong Kong and London tumble.
19,056 in U.S.Most new cases today
-13% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23
-1.062 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23
-4.8% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), April