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Lifecycle Investment Strategy

Growing your super at every stage of life

Our lifecycle option

The Lifecycle Investment Strategy is what we invest your super in if you open an Accumulation account with us and don't choose another investment option (our default). We've designed it so you don't have to do anything – your investment strategy automatically changes based on your age, helping you get the most out of super, at every stage of life.

Designed for your life stage

When you’re younger and trying to grow your balance, we’ll aim for growth. When you’re nearing retirement, we gradually switch you to a more stable strategy that continues to protect your hard-earned savings.

Leave the hard work to us

We take care of your super so you can rest easy. Until you turn 55, we invest your super in the Balanced Pool to grow over the long term. Once you turn 55, we'll start gradually transferring your super to our lower-risk pools – the Retirement Pool and Cash Pool.

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How we invest your super

There are 3 pools that make up the Lifecycle Investment Strategy and each pool has a different risk level. This graph was created to show you an example of how your super may be split across the pools, based on your age.

For more information, including how this transition happens in detail, download the Super Savings Investment Guide.

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Balanced Pool
Retirement Pool
Cash Pool

Investment pools

10-year returns and pool size as at 30 September 2023 (updated quarterly)

Balanced Pool

High

Risk level

10-yr returns: 7.9% p.a.

Investment objective: CPI + 3.5% p.a.

Pool size: $56.3 billion

Fees (p.a.): 0.72% + admin fees & costs

Retirement Pool

Medium to high

Risk level

10-yr returns: 6.1% p.a.

Investment objective: CPI + 2.5% p.a.

Pool size: $10.0 billion

Fees (p.a.): 0.72% + admin fees & costs

Cash Pool

Very low

Risk level

10-yr returns: 1.6% p.a.

Investment objective: View details

Pool size: $1.0 billion

Fees (p.a.): 0.07% + admin fees & costs

Pool performance and asset allocation

Balanced Pool performance overview and asset allocation

As at 30 September 20231


Performance

Accumulation accounts
10 years (p.a.) 7.9%
7 years (p.a.) 7.8%
5 years (p.a.) 6.5%
3 years (p.a.) 8.9%
1 year 9.8%
3 months  0.3% 

Asset allocations

Asset allocations2
Australian Shares
26.2%
International Shares
26.4%
Private Equity
6.5%
Property
8.5%
Infrastructure
10.5%
Fixed Income
14.0%
Alternative Strategies
5.5%
Cash
2.4%
Total
100%

1. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investment returns are the compounded annualised return, and are net of investment fees and costs, transaction costs, and investment taxes. Returns up to 28 February 2022 are for Sunsuper, and after that are for Australian Retirement Trust using the same products. Check monthly performance figures.

2. For additional information on these asset classes, strategic asset allocations, and allowable ranges, read the Investment Guide.

Retirement Pool performance overview and asset allocation

As at 30 September 20231


Performance

Accumulation accounts
10 years (p.a.) 6.1%
7 years (p.a.) 6.0%
5 years (p.a.) 5.1%
3 years (p.a.) 6.6%
1 year 7.5%
3 months  0.3% 

Asset allocations

Asset allocations2
Australian Shares
18.7%
International Shares
15.1%
Private Equity
5.5%
Property
8.0%
Infrastructure
10.5%
Fixed Income
28.0%
Alternative Strategies
7.0%
Cash
7.2%
Total
100%

1 Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investment returns are the compounded annualised return, and are net of investment fees and costs, transaction costs, and investment taxes. Returns up to 28 February 2022 are for Sunsuper, and after that are for Australian Retirement Trust using the same products. Check monthly performance figures.

2. For additional information on these asset classes, strategic asset allocations, and allowable ranges, read the Investment Guide.

Cash Pool performance overview and asset allocation

As at 30 September 20231


Performance

Accumulation accounts
10 years (p.a.) 1.6%
7 years (p.a.) 1.4%
5 years (p.a.) 1.3%
3 years (p.a.) 1.4%
1 year 3.4%
3 months  1.0%

Asset allocation

Account Asset allocation2
Cash3
100%
Total
100%

1 Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investment returns are the compounded annualised return, and are net of investment fees and costs, transaction costs, and investment taxes. Returns up to 28 February 2022 are for Sunsuper, and after that are for Australian Retirement Trust using the same products. Check monthly performance figures.

2. For additional information on these asset classes, strategic asset allocations, and allowable ranges, read the Investment Guide.

3. If you're invested in this pool, Australian Retirement Trust will invest 90% of your investment in the pool into interest-bearing accounts with authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs). 40% will be invested with the National Australia Bank (NAB) (ABN 12 004 044 937), 40% with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) (ABN 48 123 123 124), and 10% will be invested with the Members Equity Bank Limited (ME) (ABN 56 070 887 679). Maintaining a specific allocation requires regular rebalancing and the actual allocation will vary between rebalancing dates.

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Lifecycle Investment Strategy FAQs

The Lifecycle Investment Strategy is our MySuper investment option and is where we automatically put your super if you open an Accumulation account and don't choose another investment option. It personalises your investment strategy based on your age.

Some of our members just want the peace of mind of knowing their super is in the hands of someone they trust. That's why if you don't make an investment choice, we'll automatically invest your super in our Lifecycle Investment Strategy.

Your age can play a big part in how you might invest your super, which is one of the benefits of our Lifecycle Investment Strategy. When you’re younger and trying to grow your balance, we’ll automatically aim for growth. When you’re nearing retirement, we gradually switch you to a more stable strategy that continues to protect your hard-earned savings.

You can easily check what your super is invested in through Member Online. If you need help, contact us.

When you turn 55, we begin moving your super between the pools. This happens in two ways:

  1. Each month, we transfer part of your account balance out of the Balanced Pool and into the Retirement Pool (90%) and the Cash Pool (10%). We time this based on your birthday, so if your birthday is 10 May, we transfer on or around the 10th day of each month.
  2. Any money you add, including employer super payments and any transfers from other super funds (rollovers), is split across the investment pools. More goes to the Retirement and Cash Pools as you get older.

No, you don't have to have your super invested in the Lifecycle Investment Strategy. We offer a wide range of investment options to suit your individual needs and the level of risk you're comfortable with.

If you'd like to update your investment strategy, you can check and change your options anytime in Member Online. If you need help, contact us.

Growth assets can potentially earn higher returns over the long term, but they're considered high-risk in the short term. Shares are an example of a growth asset.

Defensive or low-risk assets provide more protection and stability in the short term, but they don't offer much growth – sometimes not even enough to keep up with inflation! Cash is an example of a defensive asset.

With our Lifecycle Investment Strategy, we invest your super in the Balanced Pool which has some growth assets to help it grow over the long term. Then we gradually switch you to a more defensive investment strategy as you near retirement, transferring your super over to the Retirement and Cash Pools.

The Balanced Pool is one of the 3 pools that make up the Lifecycle Investment Strategy. The Balanced investment option is one of our Diversified options and is a separate investment option you can choose if you'd like more control over where your super is invested. The Balanced Pool and the Balanced option have the same underlying investment strategy.

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