Prime Super announces zero administration fees for low balance members

With the Government’s Protecting Your Super (“PYS”) taking effect from 1 July 2019, Prime Super has assessed the impact of these initiatives on its membership and has announced that from 1 July 2019, members with balances below $6,000 will not be charged administration fees.

CEO Lachlan Baird said, ‘There has been speculation that the Protecting Your Super reforms will force fees up as super funds are required to transfer large numbers of inactive account balances to the ATO. Prime Super is in a position that allows a fee reduction for members with low balances.

“This change to the fee structure will deliver a very positive outcome to those with an account balance of $6,000 or less and the fee structure for all other members will remain unchanged.”

Another PYS initiative is to ban all exit fees, including part withdrawals. Prime Super has not charged exit fees since 1 July 2013.  There will be no change to this practice as a result of this measure.

TelstraSuper partners with First Nations Foundation

TelstraSuper has partnered with national Indigenous non-profit First Nations Foundation to better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members with their super.

The partnership will help resource the First Nations Foundation’s “Big Super Day Out” – an Indigenous community event to help first Australians find their lost super, consolidate accounts, and become educated about the benefits that super offers.

TelstraSuper CEO Chris Davies said the partnership reflects TelstraSuper’s commitment to serving all members – including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in remote communities.

“Even after more than 25 years of compulsory super, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people still have poorer superannuation outcomes than non-Indigenous Australians,” said Davies. “With over 90,000 TelstraSuper members all around Australia, we have a duty to ensure that all Australians are supported in the best way possible.”

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face many challenges in accessing superannuation including verification of identity, communication and literacy issues, different cultural practices and relationships, and life expectancy differences.

Two events will be held in 2019, servicing areas including Darwin, Kununurra, Broome, Gapuwiyak, Galiwin’ku, Milingimbi and Ramingining.

First Nations Foundation has helped reunite Indigenous people with millions of dollars of lost superannuation through their Big Super Day Out event that has been running since 2014. To date, more than $14.5 million in lost super has been located for over 1,100 people.

“We are delighted to welcome TelstraSuper as a partner and are thankful for their support,” said CEO of the First Nations Foundation Amanda Young.

“As we receive no Government funding, the support of the financial services and superannuation sectors is vital to the creation of these events. We know the returns will be significant for both Indigenous Australia and indeed the superannuation sector itself, as every $1 invested will bring back $36 to the superannuation system”.

SuperFriend founder Helen Hewett receives Order of Australia

Helen Hewett and Margo Lydon

SuperFriend founder Helen Hewett was awarded a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division), as part of the Queen’s Birthday 2019 Honours List.

Launched in 2007, SuperFriend aims to improve mental health and wellbeing for Australian workers through its solutions, advocacy and insights.

Hewett was the executive officer of the Industry Funds Forum (IFF) when she advocated for the establishment of an industry response to suicide prevention and the impacts of mental illness on members. She also served as CEO of Cbus.

Praising Hewett, Margo Lydon, CEO of SuperFriend, said: “It was her vision in making a real difference in members’ lives and her commitment in bringing the industry together to help contribute to supporting members that was instrumental in establishing SuperFriend.”

Hewett will receive her Order of Australia from NSW Governor Margaret Beasley in September at Sydney’s Government House.

MTAA Super and Tasplan enter MOU

MTAA Super and Tasplan have entered into a binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to investigate a merger of the two funds which if successful would create a national superannuation fund with more than $22billion in funds under management and 328,000 members.

The MOU will allow a potential merger to be thoroughly assessed by all parties, with the best interests of members being the key deciding factor.

Fund chairs, Naomi Edwards of Tasplan, and John Brumby of MTAA Super, said this was an exciting opportunity to create one fund that would provide services nationally to the combined membership, with priority on providing quality services and outcomes for members.

“We anticipate that the increased scale will deliver efficiencies that can be passed on to members by way of product and service improvement, competitive fees and returns,” Edwards and Brumby said.

Tasplan goes live with MetLife

As the new financial year begins, MetLife Australia will provide death, TPD and income protection cover to Tasplan’s 138,000 members.

The two organisations have spent the last nine months working together for the 1 July switch over of members, integrating technology platforms to enable easy and fast member interactions including claims and cover changes.

Tasplan’s chief operations officer, Nick Connor, believes the transition period has been critical to making sure their members have a positive experience: “We’ve been working closely with MetLife to make sure we’re ready and there is no impact on our members. The experience should be seamless for them.

Chesne Stafford, MetLife’s chief customer and marketing officer, said: “Tasplan is as equally focused on members as we are and it’s one of the reasons our two organisations have a great cultural fit. We’ve worked hand in hand to be ready for today. We can’t wait to welcome Tasplan members to the MetLife family.”

Hostplus and Club Super in merger discussions

Hostplus and Club Super have jointly announced that they are in discussions in relation to a merger of the two superannuation funds.

The funds have entered into a memorandum of understanding to formally pursue discussions and undertake a comprehensive due diligence process, which is anticipated to lead to the two funds’ trustees signing a successor fund transfer deed approving the merger of Hostplus and Club Super.

Hostplus’ chief executive, David Elia, said that this due diligence phase would allow both funds to more formally evaluate the merger proposal.

“Along with Hostplus, we are keen to explore how a merger of our funds, based on shared values, our all profit to member philosophy and focus and track record in serving the hospitality, clubs and allied sectors, would better serve our members and stakeholders both here in Queensland and nationally”, Club Super chair, Sharron Caddie said.

Both funds confirmed that their respective members and employers will be kept informed of the outcomes of the funds’ discussions once the opportunity has been fully explored.