Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Place of Publication

Joondalup, Western Australia


Faculty of Business and Law


School of Accounting, Finance and Economics


Gerrans, P., Clark-Murphy, M., & Speelman, C. (2008). Retirement savings investment strategy : member choices and performance. Joondalup, Australia: Edith Cowan University.


Three crucial ingredients influence how much individuals will have to fund retirement income needs: how much they contribute to savings, how long they save for, and the performance of these savings. This paper focuses on the issue of performance, and how individuals perform when they are given the choice of making their own investment strategy for their retirement savings contributions. An empirical examination using a large sample gathered from four Australian superannuation funds is utilised and finds that on average members underperform their own fund’s default option both in raw returns and on a riskadjusted basis. For trustees and regulators charged with the responsibility of looking after the interests of members an important result identifies significant differences in performance based on how members are allowed to construct their investment strategy.

Included in

Economics Commons