By Kate Farrar, Chief Executive Officer, Brighter Super
1 November 2023
Brighter Super has doubled its size in just over two years, in terms of funds under management and membership, following its mergers with Energy Super and SPSL.
We have made excellent progress in bringing our teams and systems together. We have already started creating the cost efficiencies we’ve been aiming for.
The Brighter Super team is focused on getting our systems, processes, and service levels right for you, our members, and making your dealings with us as easy as possible.
We are listening to all our members’ feedback on ways we can improve our service. We have a significant pipeline of enhancements planned for our Member Online, mobile app and Adviser Portal services, and our Contact Centre operation.
To support this focus, we have also reorganised some of our teams to help us make the changes necessary to improve our service delivery.
I was deeply saddened by the recent passing of our friend and colleague, Andrew Cormie. Andrew was a valued advisor to our Investment Committee, he will be sorely missed by us all. My deepest condolences to Andrew’s family and loved ones at this difficult time.
John Smith, Chair of the Board, has written a message on behalf of us all at Brighter Super remembering Andrew Cormie.
I look forward to presenting a review of the last financial year and the future direction of the fund at the 2022/23 Annual Members Meeting. The event will be held on Wednesday 15 November 2023, 12.00 pm at Brisbane City Hall (and online).
My team and I always appreciate spending this time with our members, sharing ideas and listening to feedback.
Invitations have been sent to all Brighter Super members. For further information and registrations, visit brightersuper.com.au/AMM.
One of the benefits of the Energy Super merger in 2021 was improving our investment capabilities and taking advantage of market conditions to set members up for growth.
This could be seen in our strong performance last financial year (2022/23), with Brighter Super’s MySuper option returning 10.62%1.
According to SuperRatings, Brighter Super had the highest MySuper return for a Queensland industry fund and the 5th highest MySuper return nationally for the 12 months ending 30 June 20232. For this period, ten of our Accumulation options and seven Pension options finished in the top five best-performing options in their SuperRatings category.
Building on this strong performance, we are now looking at investment opportunities provided by the SPSL merger with an additional $6.1 billion in funds under management. It allows us to review and select the best investment options and provide a comprehensive set of investment choices for all fund members, as we did after the Energy Super merger.
While returns in the previous financial year were strong, global concerns about inflation and interest rate rises are currently affecting investment markets. Declines are currently being experienced across the superannuation industry, and as always, we are focused on medium to long-term performance strategies to secure your retirement dreams.
You can see how the investments for your super are performing by using the interactive performance graph on our website.
Performance graphs can be displayed for all investment options and account types over a chosen period. Notes about the calculations are provided on the web page.
It’s your visual guide to tracking your super’s progress over time.
We have used the merger with Energy Super in 2021 and SPSL in 2023 to drive efficiencies, lowering fees for many members. Brighter Super’s MySuper investment option is one of the
five lowest-cost MySuper products offered by industry superannuation funds in Australia, according to SuperRatings3.
Since our mergers, Brighter Super members are, on average, paying between 20% and 24% less in fees, for the MySuper investment option, depending on their fund of origin4.
If you have more than one super account, you could be paying more fees than you need to. Depending on your situation, bringing all your super together into one account and one set of fees can make a big difference to the amount of money you end up with in retirement.
Our website has further information about consolidating your super, including the benefits and what you should consider beforehand.
Since June 2023, we have been increasing our advice offering to members. No matter which fund you were with originally, you now have access to the same advice offerings.
Brighter Super’s in-house team of financial advisers can provide members with limited advice on a single issue related to super (at no additional cost), scaled advice for retirement planning and comprehensive advice (costs will vary)5.
Since the transfer of SPSL into Brighter Super on 1 June 2023, we have welcomed the relationships of more than 1,000 external advisers. Members who are getting external advice relating to super can now pay their external financial adviser’s fee from the Brighter Super account.
We now have an online service called Adviser Portal that has enabled members’ external financial advisers to gain direct access to Brighter Super to manage their superannuation. This makes it easier for you to engage with the financial adviser of your choice.
Members can now authorise qualified registered financial advisers to view their account details. Authorised advisers can also update their client’s current and future investment strategies and change retirement income stream strategies, including payment frequency and amount.
Advisers who a member has authorised can also request fees be paid from the member’s Brighter Super account for financial advice on their investment in the fund.
As an industry fund, we are breaking new ground in this area and embracing the independent financial adviser community as a key partner in helping our members realise their retirement dreams.
I am delighted that SuperRatings has recognised Brighter Super’s achievements in 2022/23 with two nominations in its 10th Annual Super Fund of the Year Awards.
In a year when our mergers made us the second fastest-growing fund in Australia in terms of member growth and funds under management (according to KPMG6), Brighter Super has been short-listed for the Momentum Award, which recognises funds that have made significant strategic movement in the industry.
We have also been short-listed for Member Education in recognition of our drive to support our members through educational resources and initiatives.
Securing a place as a finalist is widely recognised as a remarkable achievement in the superannuation industry.
This latest recognition comes after SuperRatings awarded Brighter Super its Platinum Rating (highest possible) in its Accumulation (MyChoice) and Pension categories. It was the 15th year in a row Brighter Super received this award.
As mentioned, our recent mergers give us the opportunity to take the best products and services from each foundation fund and provide them to all our members.
Our online tools and resources are key areas where we are making improvements for all members. We continue to add new features and enhancements to Member Online and our mobile app. An increasing number of members enjoy the ease and convenience of managing their super online. Stronger protection to our login process through Multi-Factor Authentication was applied to all members’ accounts earlier this year.
If you are a Brighter Super member and have not used Member Online before, you can register for access in just a few minutes.
We continue to expand our online education program through our series of webinars and our Let’s Learn education modules. We’re covering more topics than ever, helping more members to make informed choices about their financial future.
I want to thank you, our members, for your ongoing support and engagement with this fund. We now are a robust mid-size fund with $30 billion of your funds under management and over 250,000 members.
Our commitment is to keep improving our boutique service offering and deliver this to more and more members, with a human-touch.
On behalf of everyone at Brighter Super, I wish you all the best over the last few weeks of 2023 and the upcoming holiday season. I hope you and your family have a safe and happy end to the year.
LGIAsuper Trustee (ABN 94 085 088 484) (AFSL 230511) (the Trustee) as trustee for LGIAsuper (ABN 23 053 121 564) (RSE R1000160) (the Fund) trading as Brighter Super. Brighter Super products are issued by the Trustee on behalf of the Fund. Brighter Super may refer to the Trustee or LGIAsuper as the context may be. This article may contain general advice which does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. As such, you should consider whether it is appropriate in light of your own objectives, financial situation and needs prior to making any decision. You should consult a licensed financial advisor if you require advice which does take into account your personal financial circumstances. You should also obtain and consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before making any decision to acquire any products. A Target Market Determination (TMD) is a document that outlines the target market a product has been designed for. Find the PDSs and TMDs at brightersuper.com.au/governance.
This article contains information that is up to date at the time of publishing. Some of the information may change following its release. Any questions can be referred to Brighter Super by calling us on 1800 444 396 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.