We've come a long way!
In 1958, a group of female teachers in Victoria banded together to demand a more secure future and made history by founding VISSF. Like all good success stories, VISSF boasts a proud, and sometimes ground-breaking, history. Discover how our past is building your future and browse our timeline.
All information pertaining to the history of Superannuation in Australia was sourced from the Parliament of Australia site.
First World War
After the First World War (1914–1918) there were many young women who had lost husbands, partners, and potential partners. At the same time, the war had impacted on the economy and as a result, more and more girls were requiring education.
The Anglican Church, particularly under the leadership of Archbishop Lowther Clarke, established church schools in the main suburbs of Melbourne to cater for this need.
Schools such as Lowther Hall in Essendon, Ivanhoe Girls', Camberwell Girls' Grammar and Shelford in Caulfield, joined Melbourne Grammar, Firbank, St Michaels, and Mentone Girls' Grammar as members of this group. The Presbyterian and Methodist churches were also active in the development of girls' church schools. Some non-denominational schools, such as Fintona and St Catherine's, were also growing at this time. Alongside these new schools, country families were needing boarding schools. It was a period of massive growth for schools throughout Australia.
At first, these schools provided employment for educated sisters and daughters of clergy as well as single women who could provide a gentile education and were willing to live in the boarding schools.
The teachers and assistants employed in the schools built after World War I prided themselves on serving their schools for life. Some of the women could foresee that, after they retired from paid employment, they would need an income to live on. Pensions and social welfare were not fully developed at this time. As the Depression of the 1930's hit, some private resources had dried up.
Second World War
The Second World War (1939 – 1945) was another time of tight circumstances for many families in both city and country. The Assistant Mistresses Association became a union which would lobby for the financial needs of women, with the aim of creating a secure future for those women working in schools. It was a long, hard battle over many decades. Higher salaries and superannuation meant higher school fees.
On 16th December, 1958, many long years before superannuation was a standard employment requirement, Victorian Girls' Schools Association Superannuation Fund (which later came to be known as VISSF) was started. It was founded by a group of female teachers working at independent schools in Victoria who realised they would not have a sufficient income stream in retirement. There were individual Funds for both the independent girls' and boys' schools.
The first schools to sign up were Fintona, Lauriston, Mentone, MLC, Morongo (a Geelong school, now closed), PLC, Preshil, Ruyton, and St Margaret's in Berwick. Some Anglican schools joined later. The firm of M. G. Roberts and Co Chartered Accountants became the administrators and Mr Malcolm Roberts and, later, his son, Graeme were Secretaries of the Fund until Graeme Roberts death in 1997.
Defined Benefits were introduced at VISSF
In 1976, defined benefits were introduced at VISSF. This provided certainty to members, despite volatile markets, that a multiple of salary would be received upon their retirement.
Compulsory Benefits Introduced in Australia
Compulsory Superannuation commenced in Australia in 1986. The Australian Industrial Relations Commission arbitrated on an ACTU claim that all employees covered by an Award should be provided with 3% super. Unfortunately, not all workers were covered by awards and not all employers complied.
Compulsory Benefits Extended
The Labor Government implemented the Superannuation Guarantee (SG), which extended retirement savings to 72 % of workers. Employers were required to make prescribed contributions on behalf of their employees to a complying superannuation fund. Super contributions were progressively increased between 1992-2002, from 3% to 9%.
VISSF celebrates its 40th
The Fund celebrated 40 years of operation in 1998. At that time there were 5000 members and $170 million invested. Before the economic downturn at the end of 2007, the Fund had over 9000 members and $500 million invested.
VISSF celebrates its 50th year
With 50 years in operation, VISSF celebrates this key milestone. With five decades of successful service to our members, a tribute was made to all those who had devised strategies and worked for the Fund over the years.
We are no longer just for teachers but for anyone who works within the education industry. If you change employers you can keep your investments with VISSF and provided you are still working, can make extra contributions from other sources or via salary sacrifice.
VISSF also offers a retirement income solution by way of an Account Based Pension and we encourage members to take advantage of the low fees to enhance their retirement savings. Many members have decided to take out an account based pension either as a transition to retirement or on retirement and they receive a monthly income from VISSF.
VISSF has grown to comprise more than 9,000 members, with in excess of $600 million in assets and accepts contributions from over 300 participating employers. We now offer enhanced online capabilities through Member Online, where you can perform almost all transactions electronically including:
• Switch between our four investment options anytime
• Consolidate your super in as little as 3 days
• Provide consent to periodically search for lost super
• Update your personal details
• Have your super and pension accounts linked
• Review your insurance cover+ -