Phone 1800 444 396
Post GPO Box 264, Brisbane QLD 4001

Brighter together

Delivering streamlined investment options and low fees to members

Information for AFS Licensees and advisers

Brighter Super is pleased to announce changes across our product fees and investment options. Over the last few years we have been on a journey of transformation, bringing together our three merged funds to create Brighter Super. We’re excited to share our latest changes, further realising the benefits of our mergers well ahead of plan.

From 31 May 2024, we are improving our fee arrangements and delivering a streamlined menu of investment options, in line with our commitment to improve our service offering and reduce costs.

View our adviser webinar

Brighter Super’s Head of Advice, Steven O’Donoghue, and Chief Investment Officer, Mark Rider, discuss the changes and how they may benefit you and your clients.

Watch now

Communicating to members

We are communicating these changes to members via a Significant Event Notice (SEN) in the week of 22 April 2024.

The table below provides sample SENs and related communications sent to four different segments of Brighter Super members.

Notice date  Topic Sample communications to members

19 April 2024

Brighter together:

Delivering streamlined investment options and low fees to members

The contents of the notice vary according to the member’s account type.

Examples of SEN communications:

Examples of supporting documents sent to members, containing ‘Important information’:

Key changes for members

  • Following a rigorous review based on performance, fee structure and management, we are reducing 30+ investment options across two investment menus to 12 options in one menu.
  • We’re delivering admin fee reductions for some members of up to almost 70%.
  • We’re listing administration fees and applicable tax rebates separately in members’ accounts for greater transparency.

For more information, please read the questions below.

You can also view our Member page, which includes a short explanatory video featuring CEO, Kate Farrar, and retirement advocate, David ‘Kochie’ Koch.

General questions

  • Are members required to do anything?

    If a member is invested in one of the closing investment options, they are not required to do anything. They will be automatically switched to the new option effective 31 May 2024.

  • Can a member select a different investment option, or do they have to be switched to the replacement investment?

    Members can switch some or all of their balance out of a closing investment option by logging in to Member Online and completing an online switch, or submitting a Change your investment options form (which we would need to receive prior to 3.00 pm on Thursday 30 May 2024).

    Advisers can also arrange a switch via Adviser Online if they have a ‘Transact’ authority on their client’s account.

    Completing an online switch is preferred as it ensures the switch will be effective the same business day. When switching investments using the investment switch form, the switch will not be effective until the form is received by Brighter Super.

    Of course, members can also switch investment options at any time after 31 May 2024, using the new set of investment options.

  • What will happen to a member’s future contributions?

    Any contributions received on or after 31 May 2024 that would have been allocated to the closing investment options will be invested in the replacement options, unless the member changes their future investment strategy.

  • How will this affect pension payments?

    From June 2024, any proportion of pension payments that were funded from the closing options will be funded from the replacement options, unless the member changes their pension payment strategy.

  • Is there any transaction freeze?

    No, there will be no transaction freeze. However, switches processed between 31 May and 2 June 2024 may take 4-5 days to display on the member’s account.

  • What is happening to the Optimiser product name?

    By realising the benefits of our mergers and bringing our products together, from 31 May 2024 we will be retiring the Optimiser product name. Over the coming months, you will start to see the Optimiser name removed from our documents and communications.

Fee-related questions

Investment questions

  • Do members have access to additional investment options?

    Yes. From 31 May 2024, all Brighter Super members will be able to invest in any Brighter Super option available on our new investment menu.

  • What is your approach to investing in unlisted assets?

    Brighter Super strategically incorporates unlisted assets, including property, infrastructure and private equity, into its portfolio construction process. These assets bring several advantages:

    • Higher returns and illiquidity premium: Unlisted assets have the potential for higher returns compared to traditional listed assets. Additionally, investors may receive an illiquidity premium as compensation for the reduced liquidity associated with these assets. However, unlisted assets are more likely to be impacted by liquidity risk and suffer negative valuation impacts or incur increased transaction costs when being sold during market downturns.
    • Diversification opportunities: Unlisted assets introduce unique investment opportunities not readily available in listed markets. This diversification enhances the overall portfolio by reducing dependence on specific market movements.
    • Reduced portfolio volatility: Unlisted assets typically exhibit a low correlation with traditional listed asset classes. This means their price movements are not strongly tied to the ups and downs of the stock or bond markets, and instead their value is based more on their underlying fundamentals. This low correlation can contribute to the dampening and smoothening of portfolio volatility through pricing of these assets, which is less susceptible to short term volatility and listed market sentiment which can increase resilience during downturns in listed markets.
    • Inflation hedge: Real assets like real estate and infrastructure can serve as effective hedges against inflation. The ability to link revenue to inflation and economic growth helps counter the erosive effects of inflation on the real value of assets.
  • How do you manage your unlisted assets?

    Brighter Super adheres to a robust governance framework to effectively manage asset valuation risk, which is operationalised through its Asset Valuation Policy to ensure the Fund’s listed and unlisted assets are fairly and accurately valued.

    The valuation of unlisted assets within the portfolio typically occurs on a monthly or quarterly basis. The Fund may also undertake out-of-cycle valuations in response to specific trigger events or circumstances.

    Brighter Super requires its external investment managers to have unlisted assets valued by third-party valuation experts with significant experience in their respective asset classes. These valuations are conducted at least annually. Furthermore, the fund requires third-party control reports, such as GS007, SSAE16, ISAE3402, SOC1, from both its managers and Custodian, which is accompanied by an external audit opinion.

  • Why are the Socially Responsible options being closed?

    Brighter Super has recently made the decision to increase our consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, and in particular governance of carbon emissions, across all our investment options. More generally we are increasing our advocacy with companies regarding their own contributions in this space. This is a positive step forward for Brighter Super.

    As part of that focus, in recent months we have reviewed our two socially responsible options and determined to close them. Our review considered factors such as costs, investment performance and risk, socially responsible investing capabilities and the declining number of members investing in these two options. Ultimately, it was not in members’ best interests to continue to offer these options.

    We can now ensure that the resources previously focused on these two declining socially responsible options are turned towards managing ESG factors across all our investment options.

  • Are there any changes to the pension default investment options?

    From 31 May, we will continue with the current Brighter Super default approach, which is:

    • Pension members < 75 years old = Balanced option (formerly Multi-Manager Growth Fund)
    • Pension members > 75 years old = Conservative Balanced (formerly Multi-Manager Balanced Fund)

    All new members joining Brighter Super Pension who do not make an investment choice will be invested as per the above.

    We will be grandfathering the default arrangements for current Optimiser Pension members who are already invested in a default option (prior to 31 May 2024). This means that members will remain invested as follows:

    • Pension members < 75 years old = Conservative Balanced (formerly Multi-Manager Balanced Fund)
    • Pension members > 75 years old = Stable (formerly Multi-Manager Conservative Fund)
  • Are there any changes to the Asteron Capital Guaranteed option for new members?

    No, there are no changes to this option and it will remain closed.