This financial year, we’ve been busy once again developing new online tools in addition to all the resources and services already available to members, to help them make the most of their super. In July, we launched two revamped websites – the public site and the secure Member Online site, where you can access and/or change your personal information. These sites are designed to be more intuitive and personalised. We’ve also started working on an App – watch this space!
Our digital strategy is in full swing and supporting members with personalised video and interactive statements, calculators to explore future benefits, suite of short sharp videos, eNewsletters and social media channels. Our digital solutions are all about helping members make the most of their super, and providing the appropriate support and guidance along the way.
Investments play a key role in the savings journey, we know that, and that’s why our objective is to deliver solid long-term investment performance with a bias to capital preservation. Investment markets were strong throughout the financial year, hitting double-digit returns for most asset classes. Australia’s economy expanded reasonably over the year. Global markets were steady as the US economy remained resilient despite reduced intervention from the Federal Reserve and in Europe, economic recovery continued to be supported by the European Central Bank’s Quantitative Easing program.
Maritime Super’s investment options delivered positive returns for members for the 2016/17 financial year, and saw the Growth option return 12.34% and the Balanced option 10.44%.
2017 marks a very special milestone for the Fund – it’s our 50th anniversary! As early as 1954, unions sought to establish a pension scheme for members, but it wasn’t until 1967 that maritime unions and industry employers collaboratively established the Stevedoring Employees Retirement Fund that saw employers and workers contributing to a co-funded pension. In 1973, the Seafarers Retirement Fund was established with a similar approach. At a time when there was no formal super system in place, the Fund was a pioneer in its approach to help members save for their future. It was not until 1992, 25 years later, that compulsory super was introduced for all working Australians.
In five decades, we’ve gone from strength to strength, working with the union and employers for members. We’ve continued to evolve, developing innovative and comprehensive superannuation, insurance and retirement benefits for members. Today, Maritime Super is the largest industry fund for the maritime industry, looking after 30,000 members and over $5 billion in assets.
Over the years, we’ve seen generations of members retire with financial security and dignity thanks to the foresight of maritime unions and employers 50 years ago. Instead of retiring with their last pay cheque, today our members retire with on average $480,000 – much higher than the super industry average. We’re proud of our growth and the outcomes we’ve delivered to members – our purpose has never wavered – helping members make the most of their super and achieving financial security.
We encourage all members to take advantage of the many services on offer to you, including our seminar program and worksite visits across the country, the Member Services team on the phones, online educational tools and the financial planning team, to name a few benefits.
In 2016, the Fund reviewed its insurance arrangements with AIA Australia Limited (ABN 79 004 837 861) as part of our regular contract review process. Pleasingly, insurance premiums remain unchanged and there were a number of improvements in policy in the best interests of members.
In the 2016 Federal Budget, there were a number of super changes announced which took effect on 1 July 2017. As always, our financial planners are available to discuss the super changes and how they may impact you personally and help you make informed decisions in light of the changing super landscape. Make sure you take advantage of our financial advice team, including our Member Services team, to help you with any questions you might have on super changes. In recent years, we’ve invested considerable time taking the front foot with members who we feel could do with a phone call and assistance with their super. In fact, we recently contacted a number of members whose beneficiary nominations had become invalid, to ensure their benefit is protected for them and their families.
Throughout the year, we continued to sponsor organisations such as Hunterlink International as we’re passionate about supporting the health and wellbeing of our members and the maritime community.
We continue to look for ways to make it easy for members to access, understand and manage their super whether it be through new digital innovations or one-on-one support opportunities. Finally, on behalf of the Board, management and staff at Maritime Super, thank you for your continued trust and support.