Edith Cowan University
Place of Publication
Joondalup, Western Australia
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Accounting, Finance and Economics
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.