Super withdrawals hit $32bn as rush slows

Original article by Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 15 : 8-Sep-20

Data from the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority shows that $32.6bn has now been withdrawn from superannuation funds via the federal government’s early access scheme. However, there is evidence to suggest that the rate of withdrawals is slowing, with just $380m paid out to fund members in the week to 30 August. This is the lowest weekly total since the scheme began. Meanwhile, Brendan Coates of the Grattan Institute says the scheme’s impact on retirement income has been overstated, although ACTU president Michele O’Neil disagrees with this view.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, GRATTAN INSTITUTE, ACTU

Cbus silent on coal in new carbon reduction policy

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 1-Sep-20

Industry superannuation fund Cbus is seeking to reduce the carbon footprint of its investments by 45 per cent by 2030, while aiming for a net zero emissions investment portfolio by 2050. Fellow industry funds HESTA and First State have been explicit about their intention to divest thermal coal assets, but Cbus has declined to follow their example. Cbus has links to the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union, which has members working in the coal industry. Cbus’s chief investment officer Kristian Fok says its decision not to specifically divest coal assets was in part based on insight gained from members working in the coal sector.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING UNIONS’ SUPERANNUATION FUND, HEALTH EMPLOYEES’ SUPERANNUATION TRUST AUSTRALIA LIMITED, FIRST STATE, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Pandemic pressure for super mergers

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 27-Jul-20

The balanced options of Equipsuper and Catholic Super achieved positive returns in 2019-20, despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The two funds merged in 2019, and boast a combined $26bn worth of funds under management. Scott Cameron, the CEO of the Equipsuper -Catholic Super, says his target is still to have $50bn of funds under management within five years. He has flagged another merger deal within months, and expects COVID-19 to lead to further consolidation in the super sector.

CORPORATES
EQUIPSUPER PTY LTD, CATHOLIC SUPER

Super fund satisfaction down in May, but still up on a year ago as Australians withdraw up to $10,000

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 14-Jul-20

New data from Roy Morgan’s Superannuation Satisfaction Report shows an overall super fund satisfaction rating of 63.6% in May. This is down 0.9% points on the previous month, but an increase of 2.9% points on May 2019. Compared to a year ago the largest increase by sector was for Retail Funds, which increased 2.2% points to customer satisfaction of 58.7%. Also increasing their satisfaction were Industry Funds, up 1.9% points to 64.4%, and Public Sector Funds which increased 1.6% points to 72.7%. Although Self-Managed Funds were the only sector not to record an increase, they still maintain a high overall satisfaction rating at 72.3%, down 1.9% points on a year ago. Unisuper has the highest customer satisfaction rating of the Industry Funds, ahead of CARE Super and AustralianSuper. The highest placed Retail Super Fund is Colonial First State followed by OnePath and MLC. The report’s findings are from Roy Morgan Single Source, Australia’s most trusted consumer survey, compiled by in-depth interviews with over 50,000 Australians each year.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, UNISUPER LIMITED, CARE SUPER PTY LTD, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, COLONIAL FIRST STATE GROUP LIMITED, ONEPATH AUSTRALIA LIMITED, MLC LIMITED

Retail super funds face member flight

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 15 : 8-Jul-20

Research by KPMG suggests that nearly 25 per cent of retail superannuation fund members are likely to switch funds during the next year, compared with less than 10 per cent of industry super fund members. KPMG partner Tim Thomas says lower fees of industry funds is a major contributor to the expected exodus of retail fund members. However, he cautions that industry funds risk a similar loss of members if they do not take action to improve the quality of their services. KPMG has also found that nearly 80 per cent of consumers now prefer to interact with financial services providers via digital channels.

CORPORATES
KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Funds face more outflows: APRA

Original article by Samantha Bailey
The Australian – Page: 15 : 7-Jul-20

Data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority shows that superannuation fund members have now withdrawn some $18.1bn via the federal government’s early access scheme. APRA expects the new financial year to prompt another surge in applications to withdraw money from super funds. People who have experienced financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic can withdraw up to $10,000 from their super fund in both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY

Slim returns among super’s top performers

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 7-Jul-20

Chant West has forecast that the median superannuation fund will post a return of minus 1.3 per cent for 2019-20. The firm also expects the returns for growths to range from minus six per cent to three per cent. Meanwhile, First State Super is among the super funds that have defied the trend, posting a return of 1.3 per cent for the financial year. Cbus achieved a return of 0.75 per cent, and chief investment officer Kristian Fok says a number of factors contributed to the positive return.

CORPORATES
CHANT WEST FINANCIAL SERVICES PTY LTD, FIRST STATE SUPER, CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING UNIONS’ SUPERANNUATION FUND

Media Super poised for $62b Cbus link

Original article by Joanna Mather, Michael Roddan
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 25-Jun-20

Media Super chairman Gerard Noonan has confirmed that the industry superannuation fund is in the "very early stages" of talks regarding a merger with Cbus. He stresses that Media Super is likely to retain its own branding if the deal proceeds. The fund short-listed Cbus and AustralianSuper as potential merger candidates following a tender process. Media Super has about 75,000 members and some $6bn worth of assets under management. Data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority shows that Media Super has lost an average of six per cent of its members annually over the past three years.

CORPORATES
MEDIA SUPER LIMITED, CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING UNIONS’ SUPERANNUATION FUND, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY

APRA probes super fund pain

Original article by Gerard Cockburn
The Australian – Page: 16 : 25-Jun-20

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority will increase its oversight of the nation’s superannuation funds in response to the coronavirus pandemic. APRA will require super funds to provide it with a range of data on both a monthly and quarterly basis for the duration of the health crisis. Amongst other things, APRA is concerned about the impact of the federal government’s early access scheme is having on super funds, with almost $16bn having been withdrawn to date.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY

Early access super requests near $15bn

Original article by Gerard Cockburn
The Australian – Page: 15 : 16-Jun-20

Data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority shows that 2.12 million people have applied to withdraw money from their superannuation fund via the federal government’s early access scheme. Some $14.8bn has been paid out to 1.98 million fund members; AustralianSuper heads the list, having paid out $1.98bn to 264,404 members. The early access scheme has been criticised by the ACTU in a submission to a Senate committee hearing into the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, ACTU