Each of us have our particular quirks and one of mine has been keeping every printed edition of Superfunds since I joined my previous employer, Mercer, in 1987 (and I suspect I have some from before that date hidden somewhere in Mercer’s archives). Now, with this last printed edition of the magazine, a habit of just over 32 years comes to an end and a new one will begin with the digital Superfunds.
As I look at the most recent edition, I note how the magazine has evolved over many years from a monthly technical journal to a magazine that reflects the breadth of our industry, both in terms of activities and views. Like ASFA itself, Superfunds has matured over time to reflect our industry and the massive change that has occurred.
When I joined what was then Willis Faber Johnson and Higgins, a consultancy jointly owned by two global insurance broking firms, in 1982 superannuation was the domain of employees in the public sector, large Australian listed companies and US and UK multinationals. Around 25 per cent of the workforce was eligible to be in an employer superannuation fund. Most of the funds were defined benefit, which rewarded you well if you stayed for life and returned little more than your contributions and notional interest if you left before retirement. While the more progressive companies provided superannuation to all their workforce, many limited coverage to management and white-collar employees.
We’ve come a long way since then. Today we have a universal system that provides savings and insurance benefits to virtually all employees. Sure, we still criticise it from time-to-time saying it could be better and politicians have made, and will continue to make, amendments to the rules. Although to be fair, many, but certainly not all, have been for the better.
During this time, Superfunds has endeavoured to keep us up to date with changes and innovations, largely thanks to a combination of ASFA members who wanted to contribute to the industry together with a highly dedicated and professional team within ASFA.
I’ve been privileged to be a member of the Superfunds Editorial Committee for over 15 years and Chair for the past 12 years. I’ve seen how important Superfunds has been to our industry debates and how much many of us depend upon it as a source of reliable and timely information.
The new digital Superfunds will provide access to more of ASFA’s membership and reflects changes in technology and the way we access information.
The good news is that nothing will change except some of us are going to have to alter our reading habits, and that’s a good thing. If I can change my habits, then I suspect the rest of the Superfunds readership will have no problems! The new digital Superfunds will provide access to more of ASFA’s membership and reflects changes in technology and the way we access information. I’m sure readers will embrace the new Superfunds and it will continue to serve a vital role within ASFA for many years to come.