Equip’s $190 million corporate super win

Equip has started 2019 on a high, winning the $190 million superannuation benefits for more than 1,100 employees of dnata, one of the world’s leading international air services providers.

Based in Dubai, dnata purchased Qantas’ catering business earlier this year with the benefits and members to transfer into Equip from the Qantas Super fund.

Equip’s CEO, Nicholas Vamvakas, said dnata’s superannuation plan included a mix of defined benefit and accumulation benefits.

“We look forward to working closely with dnata and Qantas Super to achieve a smooth transfer of the members into Equip.”

“The banking royal commission has increased the number of discussions in corporate superannuation and we are anticipating a significant amount of movement in the sector over the next twelve months,” he said.

Finance jobs drop in the wake of the Royal Commission

According to the latest Sunsuper Australian Job Index Report, finance job opportunities have dropped nearly 10 per cent in the wake of the Royal Commission.

Sunsuper’s chief economist Brian Parker said it comes as little surprise that financial services was the worst performing industry in 2018 when it came to employment demand.

However, he said, the demand started to stabilise in the last quarter (growing 1.6 per cent) suggesting that the worst may be over.

Productivity Commission misses important tax-retirement outcomes link

Raewyn Williams, managing director, research (Australia), at the global implementation manager Parametric says the Productivity Commission’s final superannuation report missed an opportunity to show how the industry’s pre-tax investment focus is penalising members who retire on after-tax returns.

Williams says the Commission’s report, titled Superannuation: Assessing Efficiency and Competitiveness, provided some thought-provoking insights into Australia’s $2.7 trillion superannuation industry, including the importance of managing taxes, but “it stopped short of calculating the impact of tax naivety on a member’s retirement outcomes”.

Williams’ comments are in Parametric’s latest research report, titled ‘After-Tax Returns: Filling in the Productivity Commission’s Report’.

Vanguard announces the passing of founder John C. Bogle

John Clifton Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group, has passed away in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania at age 89. Bogle had legendary status in the American investment community. He introduced the first index mutual fund for investors and, in the face of skeptics, stood behind the concept until it gained widespread acceptance; and he drove down costs across the mutual fund industry by ceaselessly campaigning in the interests of investors. Vanguard, the company he founded to embody his philosophy, is now one of the largest investment management firms in the world.

How Vision Super’s ‘save more later’ program is working

Vision Super says their ‘Save more later’ program is now helping workers at eight councils and other workplaces save more for retirement.

The program is based on the behavioural economics concept of ‘hyperbolic discounting’, which suggests people value their future self less than they value their current self – meaning that although they may be unwilling to save extra for retirement now, they are willing to save more for retirement in the future.

Vision Super CEO, Stephen Rowe, said the program was several years in the making, and was designed to help workers reach a comfortable level of retirement more easily.

“Our research suggested that if you ask people to save more now, they are likely to say no, even when you give them all the information about why they need to save more to have a comfortable retirement,” he said.

“People need the money now to pay bills and put food on the table, or they’d rather have the money to spend now.

“But if you ask them to save money they don’t have yet – for example from a future pay rise – they’re very likely to agree.”

In 2014, Vision Super began talking to their default employers and to the Australian Services Union (ASU) about writing the program into their enterprise agreements with staff. The basic idea of the program is that rather than simply getting a pay rise, staff get part of their increase in their pay packet and part as an extra contribution to their super. Staff are automatically opted in to the program but can choose to opt out. Over the three years of an enterprise agreement, this can add up to a significant ongoing additional contribution.

Vision Super CEO Stephen Rowe said the results so far are exceptional.

Can ‘soft-skills’ help get older Australians back into the workforce?

Older jobseekers are invited to apply to be part a Deakin University pilot program, where they will be able to complete free professional skills and expertise assessments, then get matched with relevant employers.

Project leader Dr Nick Patterson, a Lecturer in Deakin’s School of Information Technology, said the program would allow job seekers to be formally assessed by the university on a raft of its ‘Professional Practice credentials’, which recognised core employability skills.

“These credentials focus on so called ‘soft-skills’ such as critical thinking, teamwork, problem solving, communication, digital literacy, self-management and innovation,” Dr Patterson said.

Dr Patterson said the program recognised that Australians were increasingly being required to stay in the workforce longer, and was particularly focused on helping those in situations that made it more difficult than usual to find a job.