Friday, 23 June 2023
Aware Super has rolled out a suite of new investment options for its 1.1 million members that cement its status as Australia’s most helpful and innovative industry superannuation fund.
In a first for Australia’s major profit-to-member funds, Aware Super now allows its members to invest in high-growth options three different ways – in its core High Growth actively managed option, in a new High Growth Socially Conscious option (also actively managed), and in a new High Growth Indexed option.
More than 5,000 members have already moved about $340 million of their super into the two new High Growth options. This includes a significant number of members under legacy brand VicSuper who received early access under a two-stage rollout.
The High Growth Socially Conscious option is additional to the fund’s Balanced Socially Conscious option. It means members can now invest their super entirely in a diversified socially conscious option without forgoing choice over their level of investment risk.
Most major profit-to-member funds have a ‘you get what you get’ approach to their socially conscious option – a one-size-fits-all offer that Australia’s maturing super sector will soon outgrow.
Aware Super’s all-new investment menu has been delivered as a key pillar of the fund’s sweeping digital transformation project. Consolidating more than one million members from five legacy technology systems into a single administration and registry platform enabled the fund to completely redesign its investment offerings, underpinned by the benefits realised with the new scale.
Steve Travis, Aware Super’s Group Executive, Member Growth, said the new investment options were based on deep market research and a thorough analysis of member feedback and global trends.
“We’re here to help our members save for, prepare for and live their best possible retirement,” Mr Travis said. “Throughout that journey, we want to deliver that help in a way that’s completely aligned with their values, their retirement objectives and their appetite for risk. Our new investment options go hand-in-glove with that objective.
“We’ve taken a rigorous and carefully researched approach to provide our members with investment choices that fit their needs, expectations and aspirations.
“We’ve put our members at the very heart of this process, working alongside them to ensure the new options will help members achieve their investment objectives, with a rigorous focus on keeping fees as low as possible.”
Mr Travis said Aware Super’s default MySuper Lifecycle offering remained the fund’s core product.
“It’s where we believe we’ll deliver the best returns for our members over the long term, investing prudently and responsibly across a wide range of asset classes, and we’ve no doubt it will remain the option of choice for the bulk of our 1.1 million members,” he said.
“Still, we live in the age of choice, and many of our members want to exercise more control over aspects of their super while leaving the day-to-day management to us as their trusted investment professionals.
“Many of these members want a socially conscious option that’s not only aligned with their values, but also with their risk appetite. Others want the lowest-cost option available, while also having choice around risk. Our new investment menu provides all this flexibility for our members and we know it will prove incredibly popular.”
Aware Super members with MySuper Lifecycle have their super invested in the fund’s core High Growth option until they turn 56. Risk in their portfolio is then gradually and automatically reduced over the following decade, as they approach retirement age.
The new high-growth options mean members can have socially conscious or indexed options, and still have the same exposure to growth assets – 88% of their portfolio – as members with the default offering.
At the same time as the fund has launched its new investment menu, VicSuper and Aware Super have been formally integrated. VicSuper and First State Super had merged in 2020 to form Aware Super, one of Australia’s largest funds, with WA Super joining soon after
VicSuper members late last year received early access to the new investment options.
“We were delighted with the reception these members gave our new options – in particular the take-up of the socially conscious options – so we’re incredibly pleased now to have rolled them out for all our members,” Mr Travis said.