Financial Planner Update
Financial Planner Update
Super SA Chief Executive Ms Dascia Bennett and Funds SA Chief Executive Officer Ms Jo Townsend provided an update on Super SA's strategic direction and investment performance at the Super SA Financial Planner Update on Friday 29 October 2021.Thank you to those Financial Planners who attended this event. We hope you enjoyed it and look forward to seeing you at our upcoming sessions.
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Super SA Director Brand and Member Engagement Ms Caroline PatrickIt's a really good turnout today, so thank you so much. It's lovely to see so many faces and many people are arriving here for the first time to one of these events, so to the people that haven't been to a Super SA event like this before, welcome and thank you. My name is Caroline Patrick. I'm the Director of Brand and Member Engagement here at Super SA and I'd like to welcome you to this event where we have two incredible people speaking today and hopefully we'll be able to give you lots of information about what's going on at Super SA and Funds SA. But first, I'd like to acknowledge and respect the traditional custodians whose ancestral lands we're meeting upon here today. We recognise their unique cultural heritage, customs, spiritual beliefs and ongoing relationship with the land and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging leaders of the future. So for those of you who don't know our speakers today, we have Super SA Chief Executive Dascia Bennett and Dascia will speak first about what's going on at Super SA and then Chief Executive Officer of Funds SA, Jo Townsend will speak and then Das will come back to the lectern here to wrap up and answer some questions. I'd like to welcome Das to the stage. Thanks Das.
Super SA Chief Executive Ms Dascia Bennett
Thank you Caroline and happy, happy Friday everyone. It's fantastic to see some old faces from our previous presentations and get togethers, but also quite a few new faces and some old faces that have come a long way to be here, so welcome everyone. And it's so good to have a heap of Super SA staff here and I'm sure they've sent the call centre staff down because if there are any difficult questions, they won't want me to answer them because these are the guys that look after me every day, so thanks to all of our staff for being here. I am going to speak for about five or seven minutes, just a bit of an introduction about Super SA and some of the highlights of the year and then I'm going to hand over to Jo Townsend, who's going to talk to you about investments and everything investments because everything investments is, if I'm allowed to say this, that is the most important part of what we do for members, is invest their money.
Jo, CEO of Funds SA will talk to you in depth in regard to investments and then I will come back after Jo's done all of the really heavy lifting of investments and talk to you deeper about the Super SA's strategic overview and our three-year strategic plan and our product roadmap and how we're going to support you as our financial advisers looking after our members. I'm going to come once and then I'm going to come back twice and I'll take lots of questions. We've also had some questions sent in to us, so hopefully I'll be able to answer them as well and please continue to enjoy having some lunch and some food, and don't hesitate to ask a question throughout if you would like. I will say, every bit of information that I'm providing to you today is of general of nature. I don't know any of your personal financial circumstances. I'm not going to give you any personal advice today, so there's my get out of jail card. For everyone in compliance and all the financial advisers here from my team, have I done that the right way today? Thank you. Super SA proudly, we have been providing superannuation services for over 118 years, that is a long time. You know we're one of the oldest super funds in the country, we're a public sector super fund, we're an exempt public sector super fund and we're not fully APRA regulated, you would be aware of this, and we continue to be constitutionally protected. As I said, the schemes are exempt public sector schemes.
Super SA administers both untaxed and taxed schemes and as independent financial advisers you'd be quite aware of that I'm sure. We've got a South Australian member based call centre and member centre based here in South Australia. You may have not noticed, but we've just relaunched our ground floor member centre. We've been going through major renovations this year and if you get the opportunity to go and have a look at our new launched member centre, it doesn't look like Centrelink anymore. We look like a true large superannuation fund. I know Scotty and the team enjoy going down to talk to our members on our new revamped member centre. We've got over 217,000 members. Historically you would say that's a really big fund, we're investing over $35 billion, 217,000 members, but actually where the superannuation industry is today, we're not a big fund anymore, we're a medium-sized fund. You would see in today's superannuation landscape, the mega funds, Australian Super, Aware Super, the mergers of Sun Super and QSuper who are becoming mega funds with millions and millions of members and investing over a hundred billion dollars of funds under management. So I can't say today that we're in that realm of being a big fund, we're a medium-sized fund in today's superannuation environment. As I said, we invest over $35 billion on behalf of members in conjunction with our investment partner Funds SA. So we're still growing and growing very healthily. As I said, Funds SA is our investment manager and Jo gets to talk about the sexy stuff, about investment more than I do. But from a Super SA Board perspective and from the CEO's perspective, as you can see over the last four financial years, we've continued to grow in very challenging investment markets and during COVID. Throughout that period of time we were very, very pleased with the results that we achieved over that four year period of time. We're very happy about the rebound and growth and continuing to grow that service to members and growing their funds under management. The snapshot of the fund as I said, we've got about 217,000 members, but I would say that it'd be a little bit less than that because sometimes members have dual accounts. The tenure profile of our fund is changing remarkably and quickly. If you would have looked back over the 118 history of the fund, the tenure of the fund you would have seen public servants stay in the fund for many, many, many years.
Now you see members come into the fund for four to three years, they go out of the public service, they come back to the public service. There is less of that long-term tenure in the fund. The age profile as listed up there continues to sort of grow in that aging demographic that we're very conscious of. We continue to have two-thirds female members in the fund. You may not be aware of that, in the public sector there are mainly female members and most of those members are employed at between level two and level four of the public service. They don't earn large amounts of money.
You'll see that we've grown by 1.73% over the last 12 months. That is unusual and if we look at that, it's probably from COVID. The government had a heap of contractors and a heap of people that they had to bring into the public service to deliver COVID. The prediction of growth within the public sector in South Australia is on the decline so that is a challenge for our fund around fund sustainability. Our largest scheme continues to be the Triple S scheme.
All of our DB schemes obviously are legacy schemes. We do have some open DB schemes but most of the DB schemes are legacy schemes now.
As I said, Jo is going to talk about investment performance, but I wouldn't be a sort of proper CEO if I didn't want to get up there and just say, to highlight to the financial year to the end of 30 June 2021, the Triple S Balanced default option untaxed, provided its highest ever return in the history of the Triple S scheme. 21.6% return for the financial year ending 30 June was absolutely fantastic of a 10 year average of 9.3% per annum. All of our other investment options either met or exceeded their investment objectives which was just incredible for a year during COVID. Super SA is what I consider in the top quartile around Australia in regard to returns and we're very proud of that return and very proud of the work that we're doing with Funds SA to obtain that return. It was an exceptional year and of course with vaccine roll outs as the key driver in recovery, we're seeing the benefit of that. I also have to highlight, and you'd be aware as financial advisers who work in the industry and advise our members, there will continue to be market challenges going forward and I know Jo will talk to you about those market challenges. As I say, every CEO wants to deliver a slide like that and I really was so proud of the fund and delivering that type of result last year.
Very quickly, our annual member communications, the members of ours that you work with on a weekly, daily basis would have just received all of our annual statements. I'm very pleased to say that we had 99% of our annual statements within our SLA delivered by the end of October and Lorna, Head of Operations, is not in the room at the moment, there's staff in here that worked very hard on that. We only had for the very first time at Super SA, we only suppressed 200 statements for the year. Normally, in a superannuation fund when you send out all of your annual statements you normally have to suppress between five and ten thousand statements because you haven't quite got them right or you want to recheck them. This year for the first time in ten years at Super SA, we had 99% of statements go out on time and only 200 suppressed because they had a dual account or they had some fee level or some insurance thing that we wanted to check, so I just want to congratulate all of the Super SA team won such an amazing result.
With all of the member statements that we sent to members, just to keep you aware, the communication that we focused on, talking to our members in that communications pack, was about the challenges in impact of the once in a century pandemic, our members really wanted to know about that. They were ringing Scotty and people on the call centre, you know around the challenges of COVID. A lot of our members were really anxious around COVID, and our call centre and our member centre worked very hard to sort of reduce their anxiety around that so all of our messaging in the annual statement and process focused on the impacts of the pandemics. Members also, when we research our members, they want to know what's happening in the market, they want to know about investments and we're working very hard and very closely with Funds SA to continue to keep giving our members all of that information and in all the statement communication that we provided to members we put an enormous amount of information around markets and the rebound in the markets and the strong, strong returns. We also provided to our members our funds strategic visions and key initiatives that we've finalised this year, so if you get questions from our members you may want to around that, as they sit down with you to rebalance their portfolio or whatever they're talking to you about, whether they're going to retire, and they're asking questions. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you want to know more about that, but I'll be talking further about those key initiatives later in the presentation. So on that note, I get to hand over to Jo. Are there any questions so far or we're taking questions at the end aren't we? We're taking questions at the end. So Jo, I welcome you to the lectern and look forward to hearing more from Funds SA. Thank you.
Funds SA Chief Executive Officer Ms Jo Townsend
Good afternoon everyone, and thank you to Caroline and Das for the invitation to come and talk to you today. Well, Das just couldn't help herself, she wanted to talk about investment performance which she's obviously entitled to do. This chart just literally reinforces the the extraordinary annual year return to 30th of June, 21.6%. Makes it really pleasant to talk about performance when you're actually in this sort of situation but as this chart clearly shows and which you're all obviously aware there can be a lot of volatility in markets particularly with an option that's got a reasonable allocation to growth assets so this is the balanced option it has just a little bit over 70% allocation to growth assets these days. This is history over just a little bit over 23 years. The risk label for this particular product is high, so generally we expect negative return between four to six years out of every 20 and the negative return years over this period is at the lower end of that expectation, so, you know overall an extremely good outcome for Super SA members. Continuing on performance, these numbers are a little bit different because they're to 30th September. What you can see is that the strong returns up until that period certainly have continued. If I just look at the one year column, you can see the returns for cash, very challenging at the moment and that's fundamentally because the RBA is anchoring the cash rate at very, very low levels so that it will continue to be challenging to get any sort of income yield out of cash in the near future. As we go down the column, the actual allocation to growth assets does increase. Capital Defensive, Conservative, you've got higher allocations to those more traditional assets of short-term longer-term fixed interest and the allocation to equities increases as you go down the column. These extraordinary returns for some of these higher growth investment options has fundamentally been driven by 25, 30% returns that we've been getting from both Australian equities and international equities over the past year.
Obviously very good returns for members, but not necessarily a situation that we expect to continue on forever. This is, probably there's a lot of information on this chart and you don't necessarily need to read it all, but I guess what I'd just like to share with you, is the extent to which we have really concentrated on building out our investment resources and capabilities over the past five or six years. When I first got to Funds SA back in 2015, we had an investment team that was around six or seven people managing about $23 billion overall. Today, the overall funds under management is around 42, certainly Super SA is the bulk of that, those funds under management but the investment team today is closer to 20 people rather than the smaller number that it was just a short time ago. We've also put a lot of work into building additional investment capabilities and reviewing every aspect of our investment strategy inside of each of the asset classes and we're actually seeing that paying dividends in terms of some of the returns that are coming through, not only at the option level but at the asset class levels.
One of the questions we do get asked, and we appreciate that there probably hasn't been a lot of transparency around the diversified strategies growth and diversified strategies income asset classes. We've actually done quite a bit of work internally just over the past six months putting better definitions around what effectively are the sub-sectors within these asset classes, and I'm aware that it is something we've had requests from the financial planning community in the past around greater information of these asset classes and with the new Super SA website that's recently been rolled out we're actually working with Super SA to make this information available to the financial planners. This is just at a very high level some of the types of investments that are within these particular asset classes and their weights do differ depending on the investment option that you're actually invested in. In this particular example, we've just shown the balanced option, it has a total weight of 8% to diversified strategies growth. As the name suggests, largely growth assets there are some elements that are a little bit more defensive, particularly in the core infrastructure component and there's some examples there of the types of core infrastructure assets that we're actually looking to invest for this particular asset class. The other aspect of this asset class is private markets. This is where we hold the bulk of our private equity investments, smaller amounts of venture capital and also some infrastructure that we refer to as value-added infrastructure so you expect a higher return than your straight core infrastructure which might be an airport for example but it also comes with potentially higher risk.
We have greater flexibility these days as well because of the way we've now arranged this asset class to help control fees. Fees is something that we've been having a lot of conversations with Super SA about particularly going into a choice environment and where for example there is a high level of fee sensitivity, we're actually able to control the amount of core infrastructure which is cheaper overall compared to private markets within an investment option. Going on to diversified strategies income which is the other asset class that I appreciate there's not at a high level a lot of transparency. Again, we're working on putting this information in a format which will be more usable but these are examples of the different components within this asset class so very much more defensive in nature generally assets that will be in this asset class.
We've been doing a lot in terms of our own strategic planning, we've been doing a lot of work around responsible investing. It is something we've always talked about but increasingly we realise that members want more information more transparency around the approach to responsible investing. So I'll start by talking about our overall approach at the whole of portfolio level and then in a couple of slides I'll talk more specifically around the socially responsible investment option which has tighter criteria if you like, around some of the relevant themes that members can invest into. So for responsible investment, first of all I'd say that Funds SA has recently became a member of the UNPRI which effectively is the global leading organization when it comes to institutional investors and talking about their response, their approach to responsible investment. Our definition of responsible investment aligns to that UNPRI definition in that it is a financial outcomes focused approach but is complemented. We complement traditional investment analysis through ESG integration so that's talking to our investment managers really understanding their approach and how they're engaging with the individual companies that they are investing in and also investment stewardship. So we have recently started doing our own proxy voting on a small subset of shares that we're investing in, and also an enhanced program of talking to our investment managers around how they're engaging with companies. The socially responsible investment option.
So the socially responsible investment option. You may recall that traditionally this option was managed by AMP capital. Now unfortunately AMP capital was in the news for quite a long period of time for all the wrong reasons and through our discussions with Super SA we determined that it was not appropriate for them to continue as the manager for the socially responsible option. So what we were able to do we did it earlier this year February 2021, was actually move away from AMP as effectively the holistic manager of this option. There is a very very small component of this option that is retained by AMP. It's a community infrastructure fund. It's an unlisted asset which makes it harder for us to actually move away but on the whole the management of this investment option is now undertaken in the same way as the rest of the investment options are managed by Funds SA. Now the international, the main difference obviously there's different criteria for certain asset classes. The main asset classes being Australian and international equities and the manager arrangements are different because we do need to get the responsible investment or ESG filters into those asset classes and so we have one manager who's specifically been appointed to manage the equities component of that option. I’ve listed here various inclusions and exclusions I won't necessarily go through them but what I will say as well, is that we're currently actually working with Super SA as well on putting this level of information onto their website around the SRI option.The other thing I would just say on responsible investment before I move on, is that obviously there's a big focus on climate change at the moment as well. The Funds SA Board has adopted a climate change statement. They did that late last year which acknowledges that climate change is a systemic risk and presents both opportunities and risks going forward. We actually are in the process this year of doing a really detailed look through the portfolio with a view to developing a climate risk transition plan. That is still work-in-progress but it's something that's very important actually on our strategic plan. It's getting a lot of visibility at the Funds SA
Board level. In terms of the market update, I’m sure you all watch what's actually going on in markets. I’m an old bond manager from way back and so I find it fascinating what's going on with bond yields at the moment. Obviously that's being driven by anxiety if you like around just what's actually playing out with inflation. Just a month ago the word that you heard all the time when people talked about inflation was oh it's transitory. There's actually a real question I think increasingly as to whether or not it's actually becoming entrenched and what we are actually seeing is bond yields are actually starting to rise, you know still at very, very low levels, but they have risen to the extent that we are starting to see negative returns now for some of those defensive asset classes. So on a one to three month basis for some of the longer duration bonds that's starting to feed into some of the diversified options which is dampening returns. That's really the big watch point at the moment just what is actually going on with inflation. Equity markets continue to be strong and that's you know that's reflective of earnings still being strong a lot of countries. It will be interesting to see just what does happen if the if the central banks actually do start raising interest rates because at the moment they're all very much on hold. They're talking about taking away a lot of stimulus but that will very much be driven on what happens with employment and economic growth in different countries. I might just stop there but I’m happy to take questions towards the end I think when we're coming back.
Super SA Chief Executive Ms Dascia Bennett
I’ve noticed people have stopped eating so I hope you've had enough food. Thank you Jo, I just I have to say I’ve been at Super SA for four not quite four years but the work that we have been doing collaboratively with Funds SA has just keeps lifting and lifting and growing and growing and growing and it's like that we're brother and sister, sister and sister or brother and brother, organisations and the engagement between our two organisations is not just on a weekly basis, is on an hourly basis. I keep walking around and seeing Funds SA people in the office and I’m sure Jo recognises that as well. It is a very, very, very, it's fantastic to have a partner that is so collaborative with us and meets our needs at every turn.
I’m now going to talk to you a little bit about Super SA’s three-year strategic vision and initiatives. I just wanted to reassure you, and talk to you about Super SA, the fund has a really robust strategic planning cycle as it should. We’re a large financial institution in South Australia investing you know over $35 billion for you know our 200,000 members so how we develop the strategic visions and initiatives is that we undertake the three-year or annual planning cycle with our Board, but to get to that position we do an enormous amount of member research, and I’m sure some of your, our members who you look after on a daily or weekly basis have taken part in that member research.
We actually research the financial planners, your group. I don't know if anyone here has been involved in some of our research. We look to our independent financial advisers and financial adviser groups who are working with our members to research what they think about us as a fund and our offering and we do an enormous amount of product research, to ensure that as we go into that strategic planning cycle we know what our members wants because there's nothing worse than executives and board members sitting in a room doing you know product development or some initiative, what they think because we should be doing that for what our members want and our member’s needs just to reassure that process is very very robust.
We also do a deep review of our internal environment and do a wide review of our external environment and that includes the environment that you are working within. We're very conscious of the environment that you are working within as an adviser and as an adviser group. Of course, we do ongoing you know regulatory overview and the competitive landscape. I have to say, I’ve worked in the super industry for so many years now I don't want to say how many years and I have and it's always changing you know that because you've been in it. I’ve never ever seen change like I’m seeing now. It is seismic, massive change in the industry and the regulatory overview is just enormous. In regard to the regulatory overview I wanted to sort of just touch on what we understand and acknowledge what you're going through because we work with financial planners with IFS, and you know how do we make financial advice work for all Australians and I’m sure you and your groups are grappling with that right now. We're very conscious of it in when we're providing our strategic direction and member services to members because I’m a great advocate for advice. I acknowledge the ongoing and an increased regulatory change within your industry within financial advice. The federal government's quality of advice review, that's coming out I think it's absolutely critical for the industry and for the consumers and it's critical for our members. I would encourage you as professionals within the industry to participate in that as best you can and give as much feedback as you can as the minister goes through that review. I'd also like to acknowledge that your financial advisers and groups have been under increased standards, greater scrutiny, the complexities that you face in delivering advice to our members and your consumers is enormous and is a great burden. I can't imagine, I can imagine how we deliver advice you know the economies of advice delivery and having a sustainable offer can be quite challenging. I just want to acknowledge that and acknowledge what you're possibly going through right at the moment as a practice. I want to congratulate you for all being in the room because we've lost so many financial advisers over three to five years and so I want to acknowledge all of the hard work that you keep doing to remain in the industry and your dedication. Congratulations on your resilience. Thank you for your continued support to our members. We know that we've got over 10 to 15,000 members who've signed authorities for us that get independent advice and we're really grateful for that and really support that and look forward to I'd love to see 30 or 40,000 of our members have assigned authorities to get advice because we wouldn't be able to have a to set up an advice offering within Super SA to deliver to that many members. The quality of financial advice for all Australians is really, really important. As I said I really, really highly recommend that you get engaged with that review and hopefully, collectively we can support our members to continue to obtain great advice. I just wanted to acknowledge that as our Board, and we sit down to set our strategic initiatives for members that we've really highly engaged and understand the environment that you're working within.
Our strategic vision and initiatives going forward for the next three years you've probably heard this I’ve probably spoken about this before we're introducing choice of fund for the first time in the history of 118 years at Super SA and limited public offer. We are entering into that highly competitive environment in 2022. We've had the beautiful rivers of gold of a mandated membership for 118 years that will stop next year. That puts enormous amount of pressure on our fund, to continue to have a sustainable model and our strategic plan and vision is to as we go into that competitive environment we need to benchmark ourselves against all of our major competitors. I know who all of our major competitors are because you look at all the rollouts and you know which funds they go to. They're all those big mega funds Australian Super, HESTA, Aware Super, Host Plus, who else Wayne? Statewide, not so much anymore because they'll be Host Plus. We know that, we know who we need to benchmark ourselves against in regard to providing services. For us it's about modernising and contemporising our fund with the services with a clear intent to improve our member outcomes. Super SA is an exempt public sector fund historically has sort of isolated themselves a little bit from the wider industry. When we come into a competitive environment you cannot do that any longer we need to contemporise the fund and modernise the fund as we venture into that very competitive landscape. Our strategic goal is basically, it's pretty straightforward is to retain members and grow members and fortunately we'll be able to grow members through that limited public office space. As I’ve spoken to advisers before, we've got 50,000 odd members who are inactive in the fun they don't want to leave us they love keeping the money there but they will be able to under limited public offer, be able to take private employer contributions into the fund so we'll be able to grow in a limited way, or retain funds under management and retain members.
We'll also we've got a lot of members with dual superannuation accounts. If you work in the health industry, you've probably got two super funds. You probably know this you've probably got some of our members that have that you deal with that with our membership. They've probably got a HESTA account because they're doing private work on the weekends. They're an anaesthetist or a nurse who's working in the private sector and they have their super contributions for that going into HESTA and then they work in the public sector at Flinders Hospital and they have two accounts and in the spirit of the CIS regulations we think it's a benefit under limited public offer that they would be able to bring those private contributions in to Super SA. We look forward to offering limited public offer to retain and grow our membership.I’m happy to take more questions on limited public offer and choice of fund in a moment.
Our product roadmap. This is something that members ask us about all the time. When can we have all of these new different products at Super SA? We've done an enormous amount of research, because all of our members keep on saying oh we want a Socially Responsible Investment option. They've been saying that for years, but how many members do we have in that product?
I should know this off the hat and I could ask someone 1,200 out of 217,000 members. They all say can you not invest in coal. They want that, but they're not running their, not voting with their feet and we do see growth into that product but it's not enormous at this stage. We promote it enormously, and with Funds SA, with the work that we've been doing, and that we'll be continuing to do with them we might see that product grow a little bit but our other products are growing quicker than the SRI product. We will have to do obviously as we go into limited public offer do an uplift of the Super SA Select product. It has doesn't have enough investment choice in it so we will uplift that product. We've also got I think I’ve mentioned to you before consideration of a low cost indexed balanced option and other sector specific options. This is the research that we're doing to members going to a focus group they ask about that all the time. But if they're only going to get 1,200 people into it you would all be aware of how much it costs to introduce a new product so I’m very conscious of that and will ensure that we do more member research. We won't be doing any of the product uplift until we go to forward unit pricing though. Super SA is still not on forward unit pricing and that's a key initiative over the next 12 months to go to forward unit pricing and because introducing new products without that it creates some imbalances around investment fluctuations so we're very conscious of that. We will be however introducing and uplifting our new insurance product and that is on the roadmap to do.
You would be very conscious of the insurance offering within the Triple S, it's not best standard compared to all of our competitors so we'll be doing a lot of work around our insurance product over the next 12 months.
Initiatives to improve member outcomes and you'll see that I’m talking more about member outcomes at the moment instead of member centricity. Even though we're an exempt public sector super fund we're not fully APRA regulated. We have signed up to the Heads of Government agreement and that Heads of Government agreement means that in our best endeavours we have to be as close as possible to matching the CIS regulations and APRA regulated. You would be really conscious of the APRA requirements at the moment under SPS 515 best member outcomes and best member financial outcomes. We will be moving towards that not fully but moving towards that because we think that's in the best interest of members as we go into a very competitive environment and we sense that the APRA rule book is the right rule book and it's also under SPS 515 best member financial outcomes is aligning to community expectations. We will be doing a lot more work in regard to that. We've expanded some of the major initiatives that we have completed and we'll be driving forward is expanding all of our education options. We're going into a competitive environment we need to be talking to our members better. We touch over 5000 members a quarter, online, face-to-face. The team here, and Wendy's team has done an incredible job, and during COVID we pivoted. We were doing online seminars and now all of our public servants love it that much that we've got to keep offering them you know day and night and all through the day. That's been very successful for us. As I’ve said, we've enhanced our contact centre service delivery with a brand new technology Genesys Telstra technology which means that we now have omni channels and if you sent if you're a member who used to send in an email to us it'd probably take a couple of days to respond, but now they've been responded within 24 hours. We'll now be able to have more proactive service to members than reactive service to members. I think we're about to introduce a live chat which we're looking forward to as well. You know, I never thought after 118 years that we'd be able to deliver that at Super SA. I’ve mentioned the refurbishment of the member centre. Really importantly, which you might not think this is something that interesting but I think it is really prudent we've introduced a new modern industry best practice service level agreements, to deliver all of our services to members aligning to best financial interest. We think that's really, really important and we've strengthened our capability to protect member data and by doing a major piece of work in cyber security. Now every fund will want to do that. We all know through the early release of benefits, there are lots of funds that released the COVID payments and then all of a sudden there's a lot of fraudulent activity. I’m very proud to say that we have we found four fraudulent activity in the early release of COVID benefits and we picked that up straight away because we had extra processes in to ensure that we manage that well.
Initiatives to improve further member outcomes is around the new website. If you haven't looked at our new website please go and look at our new website. There was 704 days of hard dedicated work by Patrice in our office to set up. It is now a very modern website. It's got consolidated content, it's so much easier to find and understand, it's got the right information in the right place, it's mobile responsive. We had a website but it wasn't mobile responsive and it's consistent across all platforms. It's got this fantastic interactive investment performance section. Now, I know as advisers you probably want to play with that and so please have a have a look at that. It's compliant with all government cyber security standards and it meets all of the accessibility standards as well, we're very, very proud of that. Please if you've got a spare 10 minutes please go and have a look at our website.
Further initiatives around the benefit realisation of our website is just an example that you probably were involved in is the target market determination. We could see with the new website on Tuesday the 5th of October, there are a number of financial advisers coming through to our website looking for that target market you know TMD, which we hadn't put up. I think there was 117 and it was coming through very quickly so with all of the analytics of our website, we were able to really quickly react and put a statement up about a target market determination. We hoped that helped you and other independent advisers.
You will see with the website we've got a dedicated financial planner section on the website for you to use. It's got product information, forms and frequently asked questions. Other areas of initiatives that we've introduced through our strategic planning process to support you as financial planners. Not only the genesis phone system, but we've introduced a dedicated priority phone line for financial planners. We've now got 40 staff in the member contact centre. Since I’ve been in my role, I’ve doubled the number of staff in the contact centre. Now we're proactive, we can do outbound calling. We hope that we provide you with timely information via email and work that we do with you. We're actually providing you with my updates. I hope you find them remotely interesting, but I’m sure you're probably looking for more updates from Jo Townsend's team but we give you the commitment that we'll be doing more of that directly through to you. We're actually introducing training and information sessions about Super SA directly to financial advisers working in the industry so they can understand our products and constraints better. Of course we're looking forward to improve the third party authority process. We don't have a financial advice portal as yet. I cannot deliver that to you. I need to go to forward unit pricing first and I need to give our members some really good products first, but it is on our list and I commit that to you and I know other funds that you work with have that I really thank you for your patience and it is on the list of things to do and we will try and get that done within the next 12 to 18 months.
Looking forward, as I said we're running hard to introduce choice of fund and being ready for that and we'll also be introducing portability so members will get choice of fund via portability and members have not had that before. As I said the competitive environment is just the seismic change is just amazing, just incredible, how we run to meet all of the compliance changes will be big. We're doing enormous amount of work in regard to the retirement income review, but basically we are running hard to modernise and contemporise our fund and improve our member outcomes for service outcomes for all of our members.
Super SA Director Brand and Member Engagement Ms Caroline Patrick
Thanks so much for all your questions everybody. We will take some of those questions on notice and we will get them back out to you and we've got them all written down so thank you so I really appreciate all of you coming today and I hope you've enjoyed it. We look forward to working with you over the next six to 12 months particularly around some of the initiatives that we've got going forward so thank you so much for coming today.
Can you provide us with more information around the asset allocation to alternative investments to give us more confidence when explaining it to clients?Funds SA Chief Executive Officer Jo Townsend commented on this in her presentation. You can see the response starting at 20minutes and 40seconds into the recording.
Is there any intention to incentivise the 4.5% after-tax contribution for Triple S members again?Under the legislation, all Triple S members now receive 10% employer contributions. The legislation does not provide for any additional employer contributions for those who choose to contribute.
When will government employees be able to choose their own super fund?Super SA is expecting to introduce Fund Selection in late 2022. Fund Selection is the SA Government’s version of Choice of Fund laws. Once introduced most Triple S members will be able to choose their preferred super fund. We will publish updates on our website once we the Fund Selection Regulations are enacted.
Have you considered making any changes to income protection so it can continue beyond a maximum 2-year period (or 12 months for casual employees)? Many members have more than two years of work ahead of them prior to reaching retirement age.At Super SA we continually review our products to ensure they’re in line with members’ individual circumstances and needs. We have provided a review of the current insurance model to the SA Government for their consideration.
When can a spouse account be established?
What is the benefit of having a Triple S spouse account over a Flexible Rollover Product spouse account?
Will the estate planning requirements be updated to align with the SIS Act?Currently, Triple S members can making a binding death benefit nomination to their Legal Personal Representative (i.e. Estate). There are no proposals to change these Regulations.
When Fund Selection becomes available, will you accept requests to rollover benefits from Triple S or Super SA Select to fund insurance premiums from other people’s external policies, while they are still employed in the public sector?Further details of Fund Selection and the portability rules will be provided in 2022 once supporting regulations have been enacted.
Will you be able to roll from Triple S (untaxed scheme) to another super fund under choice (i.e. Fund Selection)?Yes. Under the Fund Selection rules, Triple S members will be able to rollover to another super fund. Further detail on these rules will be provided in 2022 once supporting regulations have been enacted.
If an employee leaves the public service and then returns, how is it going to affect the lifetime cap?The lifetime cap is administered over the member’s lifetime. Any untaxed amounts paid to a Triple S member will be counted towards their lifetime cap. If a member rolls out their super and then returns to Super SA Triple S their cap will reflect the untaxed amounts previously paid.
Regarding deductibility of advice fees for financial planners over and above the Industry Fund Services, are you looking at expanding to a panel of advisors?We are advocates of financial advice. This is on our roadmap, and we will engage further with financial planners to consider future financial advice fee options.
Are you able to provide detail about how the Limited Public Offer would interact with the untaxed nature? For example, a member who works for government but also receives contributions to another (taxed) fund from a non-government employer.There will be no change to how Triple S interacts with external taxed funds. Limited Public Offer will be provided through Super SA Select, which is a taxed super fund. It is important to note that any concessional contributions made to Triple S will count towards the concessional contribution cap for taxed super funds such as Super SA Select.
Can public sector employees still salary sacrifice as much as they like?
Yes, Triple S members have no limit on the amount of concessional contributions that can be paid into Triple S. Although the concessional contributions cap is not applied within Triple S, any concessional contributions made to Triple S will count towards the concessional contribution cap for taxed super funds.
Annual employer and salary sacrifice limits (or caps) do not apply to concessional contributions which are before-tax contributions (e.g. employer contributions and salary sacrifice contributions) made to Triple S, as it is an untaxed fund. Therefore, there is generally no limit on concessional contributions that you can make to Triple S each year.
Please be aware the Commonwealth Government has set certain caps and limits on the amount of super contributions you can make or receive. For information on these caps, please refer to the Triple S Reference Guide.
Will members who have chosen to direct their private employment contributions into Super SA Select get just one annual statement?Members who have a Triple S account and a Super SA Select account will receive two annual statements. This is because of the way each fund is taxed. However, members will have just one Client ID to access the Super SA member portal, which will allow them to view all their accounts and statements in the one location.
Can you provide a medium-term outlook for the fund in terms of target economic growth rates? Do you plan that will change in the current environment?Funds SA doesn’t try to pick individual country economic growth rates on a short-term basis. We regularly monitor the economic environment and the portfolio, and we would only make a significant change if something happened that is completely out of the range of what we were expecting.
Is Funds SA looking to increase their exposure to unlisted assets?As a long-term investor, Funds SA believes that the unlisted assets can be attractive investments. Funds SA’s private equity strategy is one of the most mature programs in the country, and we are currently investigating ways to increasing our exposure to core infrastructure.
Is there a review of investment fees at all?Over the last few years both Super SA and Funds SA have been working together to lower investment fees for our members. We continue to pursue opportunities to further lower fees into the future.