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Working paper
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This report examines the Australian superannuation default fund landscape following the introduction of MySuper. The two main products are outlined – single strategy ‘balanced’ and lifecycle – including their underlying asset allocation and glide path strategies. While lifecycle approaches address sequencing risk, they also reduce expected return through reducing exposure to growth assets on an asset-weighted basis over the lifecycle. Many retail providers responded to MySuper by significantly revising their default offerings, including switching to lifecycle approaches, reducing fees, and increasing use of passive management while limiting use of alternative assets. MySuper fee structures are also documented. Whether members are better off as a consequence of MySuper remains an open question, which hinges on whether prospects for adequate balances at retirement have improved for retail fund members. Much depends on the view held on debatable issues such as the trade-off between sequencing risk and expected return, active versus passive management, and the benefits of alternative assets. Hopes that MySuper might lead to a range of simple, low cost, easy-to-compare default products have not been realized, particularly in light of the introduction of lifecycle products.

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