Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about how we disclose our investments

In short, the asset classes prescribed in the regulations differ from the way super funds normally report assets to members and to the regulators, such as APRA.

Commodities, for example, are not a reportable asset class in the PHD regulations.

Because our positions are implemented via derivatives, they appear in the derivatives table.

No – the PHD regulations don’t require disclosure of performance or fees and costs at the level of individual investments, and this would be difficult for us to do.

But you can find performance information for publicly traded investments like shares and bonds on the individual issuer websites and in the media.

Our fees and costs derive from the internal and external costs of investment management and are disclosed by investment option only, and not at an individual asset level.

Disclosing the value of these investments individually could reveal commercially sensitive and/or confidential information, which could put members at a disadvantage when we look to sell assets on their behalf.

These investments are instead disclosed on an aggregated basis, displayed by fund manager, along with the aggregated value and weighting.

The PHD regulations do not list commodities (precious metals, for example) as an asset class. Instead, they are implemented in PHD via derivative positions.

These are investments in assets like real estate and infrastructure that are bought and sold on stock exchanges.

In the investment option pages on our website, we do not split these out from listed equities. For PHD, however, APRA requires that listed property and listed infrastructure be split out from listed equities.

Goodman Group, for example, is an Australian integrated property group listed on the ASX that owns, develops, and manages commercial and industrial real estate. In the PHD list of holdings, it appears under “listed property” rather than “listed equities”.

As an investor, we vote at the meetings of publicly listed companies whose shares we own on members’ behalf. View our proxy voting results.

You can see how we voted on various matters at company meetings both in Australia and overseas.

The same does not apply to our holdings in unlisted investments like real estate and infrastructure. Results of private company meetings remain private, even though we may have a seat on the board. Again, this goes to maintaining the confidential nature of these privately negotiated contractual arrangements.

See how the QSuper investment options have performed.

Find out more about our approach to responsible investing and managing climate-related investment risks and opportunities in the investment portfolios.

No – when you invest with us, the investment options are managed by our team of investment professionals who determine the holdings that aim to achieve the investment objectives set out in our investment guides.

For more information, see the Investment Choice Guide (pdf) and the relevant product disclosure statement (PDS).

Definitions of investment terms (A-Z)

Derivatives are financial contracts between two or more parties that derive their value from underlying assets or a benchmark. Usually, the investor puts forward a small amount of capital to buy an interest in a much larger value of an underlying asset.

Examples of derivatives you may have heard of are futures contracts, forwards, options, and swaps.

Derivatives may be aggregated for our disclosure of portfolio holdings, or they may be displayed by type (futures, swaps), asset class (cash, fixed income), and currency.

We use derivatives primarily to gain or divest exposure to meet our asset allocation target in a capital-efficient way. If we take an exposure in equity futures, for example, we will offset that in the cash asset class. We are effectively representing what we would have to do if we actually bought that exposure in physical equities.

If we don’t have enough actual equities exposure, for example, we could buy derivatives for the equities asset class. If we have more equities exposure than the target, knowing that the fund continues to grow, it may be more efficient to not incur transaction costs for selling these, only to then buy more again at a later date. In this case, we can use derivatives to bring the portfolio back to the target in a capital-efficient way.

Our portfolio holdings are effectively the assets we invest in.

Each of our investment options is made up of a range of assets, often called holdings. Investment options will vary in their level of risk and the kinds of assets, and amounts of each, held within them.

The most common classes of assets that super funds invest in are shares, property, cash, fixed interest, bonds, infrastructure, commodities, and alternative investments.

Legislation now requires super funds and others to publicly disclose their holdings – what they’re invested in, along with values and weightings.

PHD is aimed at increasing transparency of information about members’ investments in their superannuation.

This requirement that entities regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) disclose their holdings was in development for about a decade. PHD was implemented in November 2021 through the Your Future, Your Super reform package, and how it works is set out in the Corporations Amendment (Portfolio Holdings Disclosure) Regulations 2021.

Super funds are now required to disclose their holdings twice a year, as at 31 December and 30 June, within 90 days.

Weighting means the amount, shown as a percentage, of each asset in the whole investment option.

Weightings for each investment item or asset are calculated as the value of that investment item divided by the total value of all investment items held by the investment option.


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