Your Aware Super account works using unit pricing
When you join Aware Super, contributions are made into your account, either by you or your employer. These contributions are invested in your chosen Aware Super investment option, where your money is combined with the contributions of all other members who have chosen that investment option.
The combined contributions for a specific investment option are divided into units. Your contributions 'buy' a number of units in your chosen investment option, and every unit you own represents your share of the investment option.
A unit price is the value of one unit of an investment option, and there is a unit price for each investment option.
How the unit price is calculated
The unit price for each investment option is calculated at the end of each business day1 by dividing the net asset value of the investment option by the number of units on issue for that investment option.
The net asset value is the value of the assets in the investment option, less investment fees, other expenses and tax.
Unit prices can move up or down, as they are calculated in line with the net asset value of the investment option. When investment returns are positive, the unit price will generally go up. When investment returns are negative, the unit price will generally go down.
This means that all the investment earnings are reflected in the unit price of each investment option. See example below.
Let’s say the total asset value of the Balanced Growth investment option is $10,000,000 and there are 5,000,000 units issued to members. This means the unit price is $2.00 ($10,000,000 ÷ 5,000,000).
If the value of the assets increases by 10% after fees and taxes, then the total value of the fund will increase by 10% to $11,000,000.
The number of units hasn’t changed so the new unit price is $11,000,000 ÷ 5,000,000 = $2.20.
Unit pricing and your super balance
The value of your super account balance is determined by:
- the number of units you hold within your investment option, and
- the unit price.
Number of units x Daily unit price = Value of your super account balance.
In other words, your super balance is measured in terms of units that are purchased when your money goes in (through contributions) and investment gains and units that are sold when money is withdrawn (through fees, taxes, withdrawals) and investment losses. See below:
When are the new unit prices issued and published?
Unit prices for each business day are generally published at 6 pm the following business day. Therefore, the unit price a member sees on the website also depends on the time of day. For example, if a member views our website or calls our office on a Tuesday* before 6 pm, the member will see Friday’s effective date unit price. If they call after 6 pm, they will see Monday’s effective date unit price.
Switching investment options
What about when I switch investment options?
You can change your investment option at any time by requesting an investment switch. When you submit a switch request, we apply the unit price for the day your request is received, as long as it’s before 4 pm (AEST/AEDT) on a business day.
It takes up to two business days to calculate the unit price we apply to the switch. But this doesn’t mean you’re exposed to market movements during this time.
The two-day period is needed to calculate the value of all the assets we invest in and the number of units on issue, which is affected by contributions and withdrawals. We need these valuations before we can accurately calculate the unit price for any of our investment options.
How do I make or cancel an investment switch?
You can submit or cancel a switch request online by logging in to your account before 4pm. Your request will have a ‘pending’ status until the unit price is available two business days later.
Before making a switch, it might be helpful to speak with a financial planner who can help you choose the option that’s right for you. To make an appointment, call us or request an appointment online.
How do unit prices work when I make an investment switch?
It takes up to two business days to calculate the unit price we apply to your investment switch. But this doesn’t mean you’re exposed to market movements during this time, as seen in the example below. Locking in Monday’s unit price means John’s switch was not affected by the market falls on Tuesday.
Frequently asked questions about unit pricing
When are the new unit prices issued and published?Show more
Unit prices are generally issued at 6 pm on each NSW business day^ after the assets are valued (i.e. the day after the close of the Australian stock exchange). Therefore, the unit price a member sees on the website also depends on the time of day. For example, if a member views our website or calls our office on a Tuesday* before 6 pm, the member will see Friday’s effective date unit price. If they call after 6 pm, the will see Monday’s effective date unit price
Why are there different unit prices for different products?Show more
There are differences in fees and tax treatments for accumulation, investment and retirement products which means that the unit prices for the investment options across these products will always be different even though it’s the same investment option.
Also, we manage your money differently in retirement, which means your money is invested in different underlying assets for the retirement income stream than to the accumulation fund/transition to retirement income stream.
Do unit prices apply to all super accounts?Show more
No, unit prices don’t apply to defined benefit accounts, including deferred benefit accounts and lifetime pensions.
A ‘business day’ is all weekdays excluding the following public holidays: • New Year’s Day • Australia Day • Good Friday • Easter Monday • ANZAC Day (when it falls on a weekday) • Queen’s Birthday (in June) • Christmas Day • Boxing Day ↩