Defensive Growth


To build an investment portfolio to achieve the stated return objective within the stated risk parameters over the specified timeframe.

Who should invest?

Members who want the potential for moderate investment growth but with greater security than the Balanced or Growth options. This option is designed to give more flexibility for members who might be looking to access their superannuation in the short to medium term and who want to continue participating in capital growth.

Investment strategy

The Defensive Growth option is uniquely structured to adjust its exposure to a range of growth and defensive assets, based on the performance and confidence of investment markets at any point in time. When investing in growth assets, it does so in a way that aims to reduce volatility. For example, by investing in stable businesses with long histories of reliable cashflows and profitability.

Return objective

Corporate Plus and Personal Plus members: CPI + 2% p.a.
RetireAccess members: CPI + 2.5% p.a.

Investment timeframe

4 - 8 year periods.

Risk characteristics

The Defensive Growth option is expected to provide lower levels of return and short-term investment risk than the Growth and Balanced options, but higher levels than the Conservative option. This option’s risk characteristics using TelstraSuper’s four measures of investment risk are summarised in the diagrams below:

The Defensive Growth option’s Standard Risk Measure* is for a “medium to high level” of risk expected to generate 3 to less than 4 negative annual returns over any 20 year period.

Long-term strategic investment mix^

53.5% Growth assets
46.5% Defensive assets

Defensive Growth option investment mix and asset ranges

The aim of this information is to provide members with investment objective and strategy details (including investment mix) that we consider members reasonably need to understand the fund's investments and reflect the manner in which objectives and strategies have been formulated by the Trustee pursuant to superannuation law and discretionary powers under the Trust Deed.

* The Standard Risk Measure is a standardised way of communicating investment risk that has been developed by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) and the Financial Services Council (FSC)

^The long-term investment mix is used as a strategic guide for investing. This split of defensive and growth assets can vary from time to time as investment in each asset class may vary within the allowable ranges.

Defensive Growth option returns

  Accumulation returns TelstraSuper RetireAccess returns
2019/2020  0.32%  0.46%
2018/2019  8.06%  9.12%
2017/2018  6.97% 7.26%
2016/2017 9.84%  11.03% 
2015/2016 4.75% 5.27%
2014/2015 8.50% 8.78%
2013/2014 13.00% 14.35%
2012/2013 11.59% 13.33%
2011/2012 5.34% 4.45%
5 year average 5.94% 6.57%

Notional returns have not been included as the structure of the option is not based on the performance of a single index.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The accumulation investment returns are net of investment fees and investment taxes, but before deducting any administration fee or indirect administration cost. The TelstraSuper RetireAccess investment returns are net of investment fees but before deducting any administration fee or indirect administration cost.