Super is a tax-effective way to save money for your retirement, especially when you could be working for 40-plus years. Generally, your super is for the long term so even small additions into your super now can make a huge difference at the end of your working life and into retirement
We want you to get the most out of your super at any life stage. We’ve got a range of investment options available as well as a team that can help you understand what each one means.
What’s the difference between the options?
Your investment horizon is the period your super will be invested for.
We have members across a broad range of life stages. You could be starting out in your first job, or looking forward to the final weeks at work.
This means you’re looking to invest for longer and shorter periods.
Your investment horizon will extend to the age at which your super is expected to run out in retirement, not the age at which you retire from the workforce.
A lifetime of growth
If you have a long investment horizon, say 20 or 30 years, your super will typically benefit from a cumulative effect, where earnings received later build upon earlier earnings.
This is called the magic of compound interest. This is one of the main benefits of super, because all investment earnings remain invested along with your contributions until retirement.
The longer your super is invested, the greater the impact of compounding. This is one of the key reasons you should take control of your super as soon as you start working. After all, it's your money, you've earned it!
Balancing your risks and returns
Markets move. Markets go up and down. History tells us that there is a strong link between investment risks and investment returns.
Generally, investments that provide higher returns over a long period are more likely to fluctuate in value over the short term.
Investment risk refers to these fluctuations and the chance that your investment may go down in value and be worth less when you access it than expected.
This is why it’s important to understand your own investment horizon and how long you intend to work. The impact of short-term investment risk is typically reduced as investment horizons increase.
International and local shares, property, alternatives
Higher levels of short-term volatility / investment risk
More likely to deliver higher long-term performance
Suited to long-term investment
Cash, international and local bonds
Lower levels of short-term volatility / investment risk
More likely to deliver lower long-term performance
Suited to short-term investment
Your investment options
When it comes to risk versus return, you may be happy to take more risk, or prefer to play it safe. It's up to you.
We have designed a range of investment options with varied risk and return profiles. These options cater to the various investment horizons and risk appetites that you can explore.
Behind the investment options, the Trustee has a robust investment platform designed to maximise returns, and minimise investment risk, whilst keeping associated management costs down.
Setting strategies and objectives
If you look at the definitions of our investment options you’ll see they define:
A rate of return (such as “at least 4.5% a year above CPI”) as an objective
An expected level of risk (such as “a negative return approximately once every four years”).
We have developed investment strategies that outline the broad processes used to manage the investment portfolio as a whole and the risks associated with the various asset classes into which our investment options invest.
The investment strategy for each investment option includes an asset allocation range for each asset class.
Diversification and active management
Investment professionals work to strategically increase returns and lower risk.
Where appropriate, we invest with a number of different managers with each manager having a complementary but not matching investment style to ensure a spread of investment risks. This is known as diversification and assists especially in managing market risk typically associated with growth type assets.
The investment managers have discretion to invest in a full range of assets, both Australian and overseas, including shares, property and fixed interest securities. They’re also allowed to use derivatives (such as futures and options contracts) for hedging and speculative purposes. This aims to protect our members against adverse movements in investment markets.
We actively review each investment manager regularly. This involves looking at their investment style, resources and organisational strength, and assessing whether their performance has met our objectives.
What’s right for you?
We provide eight different investment options for you to choose from. Each option has a different strategy and objective. By understanding your own objectives and lining them up to those options that match, will give you the best opportunity of meeting your needs.
We offer three pre-mixed options, which means your money is invested across several asset classes including shares, cash, property and fixed interest. In addition, we also offer five asset class options. You can either choose one option, or spread your funds over multiple options.
Contact us to understand more about what each investment option has been developed for, so you can make an informed decision as to what is right for your situation.
The risk profile for each investment option (which includes a Risk Band, Risk level and estimated occurrence of negative returns) is in accordance with a 'Standard Risk Measure'. The Standard Risk Measure is based on industry guidance to allow you to compare investment options that are expected to deliver a similar number of negative annual returns over any 20 year period.
The Standard Risk Measure is not a complete assessment of all forms of investment risk, for instance it does not detail what the size of a negative return could be or the potential for a positive return to be less than you may require in order to meet your objectives. Further, it does not take into account the impact of administration fees and tax on the likelihood of a negative return.
You should still ensure you’re comfortable with the risks and potential losses associated with your chosen investment option/s.
Standard risk measure risk bands and risk labels
Estimated number of negative annual returns over any 20 year period
When your account is established, the amount transferred is expressed as a certain number of units. The number of units allocated to you is determined by the investment option(s) you have selected and the value of units (called the unit price) on the date they are purchased.
From then on this process is very similar to holding and selling shares.
The number of units you hold will reduce with each deduction (tax, fees and pension payments).
Unit prices increase when investment earnings are positive and exceed the investment fees and investment-related tax for the relevant option. Unit prices will decrease when investment earnings are negative or less than fees and tax for an option.
The investment earnings reflected in the changes of weekly unit prices are summarised in the performance for each option reported every month.
The difference between the buy and sell unit price of each investment option (if any) reflects transaction charges (e.g. brokerage) for buying and selling assets. This is typically expressed as a percentage and is taken into account in the calculation of weekly unit prices.
The investment manager debits the buy/sell spread against the pool of assets held by the investment manager on our behalf are when transactions occur. It is not a fee paid to us or the Trustee and is used to ensure the approximate costs of entering, exiting and transacting in our investment options are borne by the relevant account holder. However, it is an additional cost to you that is taken into account when you contribute to the Fund or make a withdrawal from the Fund.
The buy and sell spreads are as detailed in the table.
Buy spread 1
Sell spread 2
Asset class options
1. If you deposit or buy into an investment option, you will pay the ‘buy’ spread shown in the table above. This amount will be included in the buy unit price, it will not be charged separately. 2. If you withdraw or sell from an investment option, the ‘sell’ spread will apply as shown in the table above. This amount will be incorporated into the unit price, it will not be charged separately.
Switching – effective dates
The effective date of an investment switch will depend upon the date the switch request is received (either via a form or an online request) during a weekly investment switch cycle.
The weekly investment switch cycle commences on Saturday (12:00am) and closes on the following Friday (11:59pm). All investment switch requests received during this weekly cycle period will be processed and become effective once the next unit price has been declared. Typically the next unit price will be declared on the Wednesday after the close of the switch cycle. This means that all investment switches will take between 5 and 11 days to become effective.
Please see the examples below:
Example 1 – Switch request received on a Friday A switch request received (either online or via mail) on a Friday (May 10th), will typically be effective on the following Wednesday (May 15th). This will take approximately 5 days as the switch cycle closed on the Friday the request was received
Example 2 – Switch request received on a Saturday A switch request received (either online or via mail) on a Saturday (May 11th), will typically be effective on the Wednesday (May 22nd) after the close of the current weekly switch cycle. This will take approximately 11 days as the switch request was received at the beginning of the weekly investment switch cycle.
Payments and lump sum withdrawals are made using the effective unit price on the day the transaction is processed.
We have tried to explain the process as simply as possible, but it can become confusing so contact us if you have any questions.