Qantas Super closed out the first half of the 2021/22 financial year in a strong position, with a number of our investment options ranking in the top 5 in their respective categories for the financial year to date as at 31 December 2021*.

According to independent research house SuperRatings, both our Aggressive and Conservative options were in first place in their categories, while Balanced sat in second, Cash in third, and Growth in fifth place in its category.

All of our investment options also continue to perform well over the long term.

According to Qantas Super investment manager Chris Grogan, our investments across global and Australian equities, opportunistic alternatives, and private equity in particular delivered strong returns.

Our Australian equities portfolio returned 2 percent over the December 2021 quarter, while global equities returned 4 percent and our private equity portfolio appreciated almost 11 percent over the quarter. Our fixed interest portfolio also provided a positive return of 0.06 percent for the quarter, outperforming the Bloomberg Government Bond Index.

Performance for super accounts

The results for the financial year to date are as at 31 December 2021. Meanwhile, 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 10 year returns are to 30 June 2021.

Investment option
Financial year to date:
as at 31 December 2021
1 year
3 years
p.a.
5 years
p.a.
6 years
p.a.
7 years
p.a.
10 years
p.a.
Glidepath: Take-off
7.5%
26.9%
10.2%
10.8%
-
-
-
Glidepath: Altitude
6.1%
22.0%
9.0%
9.4%
-
-
-
Glidepath: Cruising
5.2%
18.2%
7.9%
8.4%
-
-
-
Glidepath: Destination
4.7%
15.4%
6.8%
7.2%
-
-
-
Aggressive
7.5%
26.8%
10.2%
10.8%
9.0%
9.1%
9.3%
Growth
6.1%
22.0%
9.0%
9.4%
7.9%
7.9%
8.1%
Balanced
4.7%
15.3%
6.8%
7.2%
6.2%
6.3%
6.7%
Conservative
3.2%
9.8%
5.1%
5.4%
4.7%
4.8%
5.2%
Thrifty
4.5%
-
-
-
-
-
-
Cash
0.3%
0.7%
1.3%
1.4%
1.5%
1.6%
2.0%

As Glidepath was established on 1 October 2015, only five year returns are available for these options, while as Thrifty was established on 1 July 2021, only financial year to date returns are available for this option. Since 1 October 2015, Qantas Super’s retirement solution for members has been offered in our Gateway division (previously offered in Divisions 9 and 14). Returns shown are based on the returns of the corresponding investment options previously available through Division 9. Returns do not include administration fees, insurance premiums, and other fees that may be applied directly to your account. Returns for super and TTR accounts are also net of taxes. The actual return for your account depends on the period of time you were invested in an investment option, the timing of transactions in and out of your account, and the impacts of compounding. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

How your investment options are performing against their objectives

As at 31 December 2021 – all returns and objectives are per annum and after investment fees.

Investment optonReturn objectiveActual returnReturn objectiveDifference
Glidepath: Take-offCPI +4.5% p.a. over 10 years10.0% (6 year return)6.8%+3.2%
Glidepath: AltitudeCPI +3.5% p.a. over 7 years8.7% (6 year return)5.8%+2.9%
Glidepath: CruisingCPI +3.0% p.a. over 6 years7.7% (6 year return)5.3%+2.4%
Glidepath: DestinationCPI +2.5% p.a. over 5 years7.2% (5 year return)4.8%+2.4%
AggressiveCPI +4.5% p.a. over 10 years10.5% (10 year return)6.7%+3.8%
GrowthCPI +3.5% p.a. over 7 years8.1% (7 year return)5.8%+2.3%
BalancedCPI +2.5% p.a. over 5 years7.3% (5 year return)4.8%+2.5%
ConservativeCPI +1.5% p.a. over 3 years5.0% (3 year return)3.8%+1.2%
CashBloomberg AusBond Bank Bill over 1 year0.7% (1 year return)0.0%+0.7%

As Glidepath was established on 1 October 2015, only six year returns are shown for these options. As Thrifty was established on 1 July 2021, no returns are shown for this option yet. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

Each of our investment options are meeting their stated return objectives.

These objectives are linked to the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation. We aim to achieve these objectives so your super account delivers a return higher than the rate of inflation over the long term, as your superannuation will support your income and lifestyle in retirement.

^According to SuperRatings Top 10 Super Funds, for the financial year to date ending 31 December 2021 returns for Qantas Super’s Aggressive (Growth 77-90 category), Growth (Balanced 60-76 category), Balanced (Conservative Balanced 41-59 category), Conservative (Capital Stable 20-40 category), and Cash (Cash category) options are ranked in the top 5 and top quartile in their categories. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

What's behind the numbers?

Want to know the stories behind the numbers? We had Chris talk us through the latest market activity and what’s on the horizon:

A strong end to 2021

After a year of ups and downs in which it weathered lockdowns, cautious reopenings, and the rise of the Omicron wave over the festive season, the Australian sharemarket ended the calendar year on a positive note.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index ended the calendar year at 7444.6 points on December 31, having gained 13 per cent over 2021. Behind this gain was strong performance from the financial, telecommunications, and consumer discretionary sectors.

The consumer discretionary sector encompasses a range of businesses, including retail, consumer services like hospitality and leisure, and the auto industry.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found that, while retail trade figures fell 4.4 per cent month-on-month from November to December 2021, retail turnover had risen 4.8 per cent compared with December 2020.

The drop month-on-month also followed a significant rise of 7.3 per cent in November, when lockdowns eased around the country.

According to the ABS, pent-up consumer demand following lockdown, combined with an extended November sales period, saw consumers bring forward their Christmas spending to take advantage of sales and minimise delivery and stock availability concerns ahead of the festive season.

This combination saw record sales in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing, household goods retailing, and department stores through November. As consumers returned to eating out, hospitality venues such as cafes and restaurants saw an increase in spending, while supermarkets and liquor stores saw a decrease.

Interest rate rises on the horizon

Though the run into the new year wasn’t exactly smooth sailing, with Australian and global equities declining in January 2022, the outlook for the year seems likely to be volatile but broadly positive.

As Chris explained, there’s a lot of talk of higher inflation and increasing interest rates – and yes, interest rates will move higher over the next 12-18 months. But as he explained, it’s important to remember that rates won’t go back to their pre-pandemic levels all at once, but rather will rise gradually.

“The first increase, when it happens, will still only be a small increase on what is a record low rate,” he said.

In its first meeting of 2022, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) board held steady on the cash rate, keeping it at 10 basis points (or 0.10 per cent).

In explaining the decision, Governor Philip Lowe said, “The Omicron outbreak has affected the economy, but it has not derailed the economic recovery. The Australian economy remains resilient and spending is expected to pick up as case numbers trend lower.”

The RBA’s American counterpart, the US Federal Reserve, also kept rates on hold at its January 2022 meeting, though indicated that a rise would be likely in March.

So, what will any increases mean for your super?

“History typically shows that, in a year when rates rise, sharemarkets do tend to fall a little, but they will typically still end up higher overall 12 months later,” Chris explained.

“In addition, rising interest rates tend to result in negative returns in long-duration government bonds. However, our fixed interest portfolio has low exposure to these, making the fixed interest portfolio well positioned to weather a rising interest rate environment.”

Chris added that, as always, it’s important to look past the short term ups and downs of the market and focus on the long term.

Uncertainty with Russia and Ukraine

If there’s one thing Chris has told us time and again, it’s that markets don’t like uncertainty.

So, it stands to reason that, with increasing uncertainty about the relationship between Russia and Ukraine, markets around the world may get a little concerned.

According to the ABC, a conflict could have an effect on a range of commodities supplied by Russia, with Russia supplying around 30 per cent of Europe’s oil and 35 per cent of its natural gas. Meanwhile, Russia is also the world’s biggest grower of wheat, and exports a significant share of metals.

The Guardian reported that US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee in early February worked to develop sanctions against Russia that Committee Chair Bob Menendez said would be “crippling” to Russia’s economy.

Our Investment team and investment managers around the globe will be keeping close watch on developments.

We're here to help

If you want to learn more or need help with making a decision about your super, you can get simple advice over the phone. It’s included as a part of your membership so there’s no extra cost.