It’s been another good year for both super and pension members with our Balanced options delivering their tenth consecutive year of positive returns. The Balanced option returned 6.88% for super members and 7.50% for pension members. Both comfortably outperformed their investment objectives, providing real growth above the inflation rate.
Our investment philosophy focuses on consistent, sustainable, long-term growth for members, so I’m pleased that when SuperRatings compared us to our peers at 30 June 2019, we were the number one performer over 20 years, with an average annual return of 8.13%^ over that period.
Our members' needs are constantly evolving, and so should the products and services we offer them. While we had significant legislative change throughout the year, we also made many enhancements including; transitioning to a new administration services provider, we rebranded, launched our new website and a new member portal, and redesigned our insurance offering.
On 30 March 2019, we transitioned our provider of administration services to Mercer. This was a complex task so a lot of work was carried out in the months leading up to the transition. And, of course, the work didn’t stop in March – we have been and are continually working to ensure we’re delivering high-quality service for members.
There are many benefits realised as part of this transition, including a new member portal (MemberOnline) and app, a great new retirement calculator, daily unit prices (allowing members more flexibility to switch investment options), and reduced administration fees for pension members, to name a few.
Our latest review of our insurance offering was guided by the Insurance in Superannuation Code of Practice to which we committed on 1 July 2018 and we're progressively implementing according to our Transition Plan.
As part of our insurance redesign, our default offering was modified to reflect our typical members’ circumstances. The overall aim is to give members an appropriate amount of cover for the different stages of their life. That is, more cover when they are more likely to need it and less when they are likely not to or have built a larger superannuation balance.
At the same time, we aligned our new offering with the government’s recent Protecting Your Super package, which is designed to ensure insurance within super is appropriate and members are not paying for insurance they might not know about or fees that erode their retirement savings.
We understand the value of incorporating sustainability in all its forms into the way we manage our investments, which is why we integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into our decision-making across all options. During the financial year, we worked hard on making important enhancements to our Sustainable Balanced option.
Looking ahead, we have some exciting developments to come including enhancements to our financial advice offering.
As an Industry SuperFund run only to benefit members, we’re dedicated to helping our members achieve their financial goals by providing high quality superannuation products and services. We look forward to another year of doing just that.
^SuperRatings Fund Crediting Rate Survey - SR50 Balanced (60-76) Index, June 2019.
Last year, I said that we were well positioned to respond to any legislative changes that may arise, and arise they did. The Protecting Your Super (PYS) legislative Package, which was first announced in the May 2018 Federal Budget, was passed in February 2019 for 1 July 2019 implementation with the aim of reducing duplicate accounts in the super system and protecting accounts from being eroded by fees and insurance premiums.
This year, following the Hayne Royal Commission and Productivity Commission report, there was also much attention on financial services in general. I remind members that while fulfilling legislative requirements and communicating changes, we remain focused on delivering the best outcomes and service for our members.
We’re member-centric and welcome changes that improve the superannuation system for our members and all Australians.
In January, we reduced the number of directors on the Board from 12 to 10 while maintaining our board structure with equal numbers of member and employer-nominated directors.
Special thanks to Catherine (Cate) Wood, the former Chair, for her 18 years of dedicated work on the CareSuper Board. Cate was first appointed in 2000 and completed her final term on 31 December 2018. During her tenure she served on all Board committees and made a significant contribution to the fund and to the profit-to-member superannuation sector generally.
I would also like to acknowledge the service of Chris Christodoulou, Andrea Waters and Gabriel Szondy, who also stepped down from the Board during the year. Gabriel has been involved with CareSuper since its inception and was the fund’s first secretary. He continues to make a contribution through the investment committee.
I welcome our newly appointed directors to the Board – Sasha Peldova-McClelland, Linda Scott and Robert Potter. The knowledge and skills they bring contribute diverse perspectives that are important for maintaining a robust, adaptable board.
As our operating environment and landscape continue to change, presenting both opportunities and challenges, we maintain our members-first approach.
As an Industry SuperFund, we’re proudly working for members by responsibly managing their savings – without the conflict of having to deliver for shareholders – so our members can achieve their financial goals and enjoy their present and future lifestyles.