News

VISSF and Aware Super merger to go ahead

GENERAL

29/07/2021

Following an extensive due diligence process and the development of detailed business cases, we are pleased to announce that VISSF and Aware Super intend to move forward with a merger. We expect this to be completed by the end of 2021.

How will this affect you?

The next stage involves working through the finer aspects of how your super and pension savings will be transferred to Aware Super. This means we will be looking at what you have now with VISSF and making every effort to match it up with an equivalent product, feature or service offering from Aware Super.

Our due diligence investigations confirmed VISSF members would be better off in the long term by being part of a larger fund that has substantial size and scale benefits. So, you can look forward to:

  • Greater investment choice: You will have a larger menu of default lifecycle and socially responsible investment options that can be closely aligned with your appetite for risk and preferred asset allocation.
  • Continued strong returns: Aware Super has proven it can deliver strong long-term results, producing an annual average return of more than 9% over five years* which will continue to provide you with better financial outcomes as you prepare for life after work.
  • Better local services: Access to a wide range of products and services that can be delivered face-to-face, with offices in Melbourne and regional Victoria – as well as extensive digital and online support.
  • Lower fees: Most members will notice reductions in their total administration and investment fees. These are the combined direct and indirect fees and costs you pay.
  • Broader financial advice: Receive support from Australia’s largest member-owned financial advice network, offering a comprehensive range of super and retirement advice options, including specialist aged care and estate planning services.
  • Commitment to learning: With an extensive financial education program, Aware Super brings you hundreds of seminar and webinar options which can be attended online, in the workplace or in community-based locations.

While we arrange the secure transfer of your savings to Aware Super, be assured your money will continue to be in safe, reliable hands.

Why is VISSF merging?

After more than 60 years taking care of retirement savings for people working in the education industry, the decision to merge is not one we have made lightly.

As a smaller industry fund, we believe it will become more challenging and expensive to continue providing our current services at the standard and cost you’ve come to expect, particularly given persistent regulatory pressure and an environment overcome by legislative reform with further changes on the horizon.

For example, without considerable investment, the loss of default arrangements combined with account stapling brought about by the Your Future, Your Super government reforms will make it increasingly difficult to grow our membership and meet the regulator’s sustainability benchmarks. This is but one of the headwinds VISSF has been navigating.

Another key factor we considered is the continuation of our legacy. It was of absolute importance we partnered with a fund that would embrace our incredible history and carry on with our quest to fiercely pursue better outcomes for all our members. For this reason, we chose to be proactive in our search to find the right merger partner – one we believed would continue to have our members best interests at heart. And Aware Super has ticked those boxes.

Who is Aware Super?

Aware Super is one of Australia’s largest industry super funds, managing more than $150 billion on behalf of 1.1 million members, nearly half of whom live in Victoria. It was formed in 1992 to support NSW public sector employees and through a series of mergers with Victorian-based Health Super (2010), VicSuper (2020) and WA Super (2020) is now a truly national fund, open to all Australians.

With a strong heritage in the education sector, Aware Super supports more than 200,000 teachers and education professionals. Over two-thirds of its members are women and the fund has taken a very public stance advocating for cultural and structural changes to support women’s economic security. These attributes align closely with our own and will help maintain the legacy of our great fund into the future.

The team at Aware Super believes you don’t need to compromise between doing well for members and doing good in the communities where they live, work and retire. It uses its size and scale to invest in a diverse range of industries and sectors, such as the new Bendigo Hospital, Victorian Land Registry Services and Victorian Business Growth Fund.

To deliver sustainable outcomes, it considers all investments through an environmental, social and governance (ESG) lens. For example, Aware Super is the largest institutional investor in essential worker affordable housing in Australia. This incorporates investments in Moonee Ponds and Alphington in Victoria where essential workers – including those who work in education – can access quality, affordable rental accommodation at 80% of the market rate for the area.

What happens next?

The next opportunity to hear more about the merger will be at our online Annual Member Meeting scheduled for 4pm on 17 August 2021. To register your attendance, we encourage you to visit our website at www.vissf.com.au/amm.

Aware Super’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Deanne Stewart will attend this meeting to provide members with an opportunity to learn more about our merger partner. Damian Graham, Aware Super’s Chief Investment Officer (CIO), will host a virtual webinar immediately after the AMM, to discuss the Aware Super investment approach and answer any questions you may have.

You should expect to receive a Significant Event Notice from VISSF in the weeks following the Annual Member Meeting. This will outline the changes, how they may impact your super and pension account and any actions you need to take prior to the merger.

Meanwhile, it continues to be business as usual at VISSF while we make every effort to ensure a smooth transition. In coming months, our team will be working behind the scenes to finalise the details. If you have further questions, please call our Client Services Team on 1300 660 027 between 9am and 5pm weekdays.


Important information: Everyone’s situation is different and we can’t recommend what you should do as we haven’t considered your financial situation. This is general information only. Seek professional financial advice, consider your own circumstances and read the Aware Super Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before making a decision about Aware Super. Call Aware Super on 1300 650 873 or visit the Aware Super website www.aware.com.auOpens in new window for a copy. The Aware Super PDS is issued by Aware Super Pty Ltd ABN 11 118 202 672, AFSL 293340, RSE Licence Number L0002127 trustee of Aware Super ABN 53 226 460 365 RSE Registration Number R1005134.

*Returns for the Aware Super Accumulation Growth option were in the top 10 out of 47 Funds for the 3, 5 and 10 year periods ending 31 March 2021, SuperRatings Fund Crediting Rate Survey, SR50 MySuper Index. Returns are net of investment fees, tax and implicit asset-based administration fees. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance and should not be the sole factor when considering if Aware Super is right for you.

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