A message for members
From Deanne Stewart, CEO
I would like to start this year’s message by acknowledging what a challenging year it’s been for many of our members. Restrictions and lockdowns across the country have proved effective in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic but have been very difficult for so many. While we aren’t out of the woods yet, I’m hopeful that the renewed focus on a national vaccine rollout means that a return to normality will come sooner rather than later.
In spite of the challenges the pandemic continues to throw at us it’s been an extraordinary year in the global economy and markets, which means your super savings have been working hard for you. With a swift economic rebound starting the financial year, and supportive government stimulus packages across the globe, we’ve seen unprecedented conditions supporting a strong year of returns for most of our members to 30 June 2021.
Our default MySuper Growth option, where the majority of our members are invested, returned 18.5% for the year to 30 June 20212. Across our higher growth options we’ve delivered some of the highest 1-year returns I’ve witnessed, which is a fantastic result for our members, and testament to the rebounding nature of markets.
Read more on the fund’s performance.
Changes to superannuation
As custodians of your retirement savings, we have a responsibility to advocate on your behalf on issues that might affect you and your super. This year we participated in discussions with government on proposed changes and saw some positive changes as a result.
How much you and your employer contribute to your super has a big effect on the amount you eventually retire with. That’s why we were pleased to see employer contributions rise to 10%, and an increase in the amount you can contribute into your super each year. Both measures will help you grow your super more quickly. The total amount of super you can have in retirement also rose to $1.7 million.
New laws have also passed that will see members having one super account throughout their working lives to avoid paying multiple fees. This is a positive step forward, but also highlights the importance of consolidating your super into a fund that performs well.
Some other important announcements were made in this year’s Federal Budget, such as the removal of the $450 super threshold and measures to help young Australians save for their first home and help downsizers contribute more into super. Read more about the Federal Budget summary.
As a VicSuper member, now part of Aware Super, you can rest easy – you’re with a top-performing fund1.
Doing well and doing good
One of the ways we aim to deliver strong long-term performance is by looking to the future and focusing on investments which have the potential to deliver returns that are sustainable. This means investing in sectors and companies we believe will continue to do well in the face of our rapidly changing world and divesting from, or avoiding, those we don’t think will.
This year marks the first anniversary of our Climate Change Portfolio Transition Plan – our plan to lower emissions in our portfolio, proactively invest in renewable energy and actively engage with the companies we invest in to encourage them to do the same. We’ve made great progress this year, such as reducing carbon emissions in our listed equity portfolios by 45%, which is well ahead of our 30% reduction by 2023 target. Read more about our Climate Change Portfolio Transition Plan and other goals we’ve set.
Investment in key worker housing is another way we aim to deliver strong long-term returns while supporting the communities where our members live, work, and retire. We’ve committed over $600 million to this initiative so far and continue to focus on opportunities here.
Another key sector we invest in is infrastructure. These investments help diversify our portfolio, with the added benefit of providing tangible buildings and services to the community. Two of our key investments are Snowtown2 windfarm and the Victorian Land Registry Services, which you can read more about our Investment in infrastructure.
For our members
We continue to focus on bringing you the best possible service experience and innovative products, to deliver strong long-term returns and low fees. This year, you’ll notice changes we’re making as your experience with us becomes easier, simpler, and more streamlined. We’ve already added additional features online and to your mobile app, as well as security enhancements to keep your super safe.
Our aspiration has always been to be a strong, enduring and healthy super fund, providing outstanding experiences and outcomes for our members and employers. Together with Aware Super, we continue to put our members first, and give them the help they need to build a secure financial future.
We’re pleased to be recognised by our peers. This year alone, we were chosen as Best Super Fund in Money Management’s Best of the Best Awards and were recognised for Outstanding Value by Canstar.
If you’d like more information, or if we can help, don’t hesitate to get in touch.