VISSF and Aware Super explore the benefits of a potential merger



The Victorian Independent Schools Superannuation Fund (VISSF) and Aware Super have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore the benefits of a potential merger.

Media release

  • Aware Super and VISSF have started talks, exploring the potential benefits to members 
    of a merger.
  • The proposed merger provides VISSF members with access to a diverse pool of investment opportunities, enhanced service offerings and a broad financial advisory network.
  • This proposed merger will support Aware Super to build its scale in the sectors it serves such as education and health and, provide the benefits of scale to members.
  • Due diligence has commenced with the process expected to finish in the coming weeks.

Aware Super, Australia's second-largest industry superannuation fund, and VISSF, the education industry default fund for employees of independent schools in Victoria, will now undertake an extensive due diligence process to ensure the potential merger is in their members’ best interests.

VISSF and Aware Super have the important fundamentals of a successful merger, with extensive histories in superannuation, strong values and cultural alignment, as well as a similar member demographic.

Women working in the education sector represent more than 75% of VISSF’s membership and the Fund is passionate about helping them to triumph over the challenges they face as they prepare for life after work.

Likewise, Aware Super provides superannuation, education, advice and other support services to more than 1.1 million members nationally, more than two-thirds of whom are women.

Should the merger proceed, the combined fund will support nearly 200,000 members in the education industry to achieve the kind of retirement they deserve.

The due diligence process is expected to be completed in coming weeks.

Quotes attributable to Peter Sharples, VISSF Chairman

“For more than 60 years, VISSF has placed members' best interests at the heart of all its decision making. In the current superannuation environment, with increasing regulatory reform and rising costs of compliance, we recognise that economies of scale can have a positive impact on member fees, returns and ultimately long-term retirement savings.

"With this in mind, VISSF is committed to continually looking for ways to achieve even better outcomes for our members. So, we have chosen to take a proactive approach by considering how we can attain the benefits that size and scale bring, with the right merger partner.

"Aware Super is a growing national superannuation fund that already has a strong presence in Victoria. They understand the education industry and are committed to delivering our existing services, while looking to enhance advice and local services to our members.

"We are now undertaking a comprehensive due diligence process that will help us determine if this partnership is in our members’ best interests.”

Quotes attributable to Deanne Stewart, Aware Super CEO

“We are delighted to have signed this MoU with VISSF and look forward to working together to explore the potential benefits of a merger.

"We see such a strong values and cultural alignment between our two funds - elements that are critical to any successful merger.

"VISSF was founded by a group of strong, passionate female teachers who wanted to ensure they had the same opportunity as their male counterparts to achieve a comfortable retirement. This ambition is as relevant now as it was more than 60 years ago when VISSF was formed.

"More than two-thirds of our members are women and we understand some of the real structural barriers so many Australian women face in achieving the kind of retirement they deserve.

"Through this potential merger, we hope to continue to build on VISSF's incredible legacy and increase Aware Super's scale in the key sectors that we serve including education, health, emergency services and other industries that support our community, and pass on those scale benefits to our members."

Media enquiries

For media enquiries or to arrange an interview please contact Jessica Effeney at Honner on 0400 998 373 or via email at

Note: Peter Sharples and Deanne Stewart will be available for joint telephone interviews from 3.00pm (EST) until 4.00pm (EST) on 2 March 2021.

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