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

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

Brace for negative super returns: Silk

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 13 & 20 : 29-May-20

AustralianSuper’s balanced investment option has posted a return of minus 3.3 per cent for the year to April, following a coronavirus-induced rout in financial markets in the March quarter. CEO Ian Silk has warned that the balanced option is likely to post its first negative return for a financial year since the global financial crisis. However, he notes that the balanced option has delivered an average return of eight per cent over the last decade. Silk adds that some 200,000 AustralianSuper members have utilised the federal government’s early access scheme.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD

Super sector should shrink 80pc: report

Original article by James Thomson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 25-May-20

Management consulting firm Right Lane contends that a major rationalisation of Australia’s superannuation sector is necessary. Associate principal Abhishek Chhikara suggests that there is scope for 3-5 large "generalist" funds and 7-10 niche funds that are focused on specific industries or types of super products. Right Lane estimates that a super fund needs a minimum of 500,000 active members in order to operate efficiently, and ideally they should have between one and two million active members. The firm expects the pandemic to increase the pressure on smaller funds.

CORPORATES
RIGHT LANE CONSULTING

Billions of early super released

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 24-Apr-20

The Australian Taxation Office has already approved 456,000 applications from superannuation fund members who want to utilise the federal government’s early access scheme. Some $3.8m worth of withdrawals have been approved since the scheme opened on 20 April; more than 900,000 people had previously registered interest in the scheme, which is restricted to fund members who have experienced financial hardship due to the pandemic. Association of Super Funds of Australia CEO Martin Fahy has downplayed concerns that some super funds may face liquidity issues due to the early access scheme.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, THE ASSOCIATION OF SUPERANNUATION FUNDS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED

ASX equities to be hit by forced selling as workers grab super

Original article by Melissa Yeo
The Australian – Page: 20 : 23-Apr-20

Matthew Ross of Goldman Sachs estimates that up to $44bn could be withdrawn from superannuation funds by people who have been financially hit by the pandemic, compared with the federal government’s forecast of $27bn. The early access scheme may result in liquidity issues for some super funds, which could in turn be forced to reduce their exposure to shares. Ross says this could potentially reduce the benchmark S&P/ASX 200’s market ­capitalisation by around 0.45 per cent.

CORPORATES
GOLDMAN SACHS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX