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CEO Update, Summer 2022

By Kate Farrar, Chief Executive Officer, Brighter Super

Kate Farrar

14 December 2022

The past few months have continued to be a time of transformation and growth as we brought three funds together to form the Brighter Super Group.

A key aim through this period has been to ensure we remained steadfastly focused on our members and providing high quality, excellent value products and services to help you achieve a better retirement.

So, I am very proud to announce that Brighter Super was awarded Best Value MySuper Product 2023 and Best Value Income Protection Insurance in Super - Men the recent Money magazine Best of the Best awards .

Brighter Super was also nominated for the SuperRatings Momentum Award, which is given to a fund executing projects that will enhance its strategic position in coming years. I was delighted that our hard work to build a sustainable, future-focused fund was recognised by SuperRatings as being among the best in the industry.

However, I strongly believe that the real winners from these awards are you, our members, as you can feel confident that your super and your future is supported by a fund that really is working hard to secure the best possible outcomes.

Celebrating our new name and a new future

It has been almost six months since we renamed our fund Brighter Super. I am incredibly pleased by the positive feedback we have received from so many of our members.

Our new brand feels fresh, vibrant and positive – this is what I’d like to see shining through in the personal service we provide to our members.

As we brought our three foundation funds together – Energy Super, LGIAsuper and SPSL – it was important to find a new name that meant something to all of us. We consulted with members in the months before the rebrand, and Brighter Super was a popular choice.

The name Brighter Super represents different aspects of each of the three funds’ culture and history. Together, it represents our core belief that we can all enjoy a brighter retirement.

Another important step for our new group is ensuring we have the right governance in place to guide us into the future. To this end, our Chairman John Smith has announced our new eight-member Board composition that will come into effect on 1 January 2023 as our transitional arrangements of 15 directors comes to an end.

Successful transition of Energy Super to Brighter Super

In September 2022, we completed the transition of Energy Super’s systems to the Brighter Super platform. This transition was part of our continued commitment to deliver benefits and cost savings to you. It unified the two funds and provides continued efficiencies and advantages for members.

Moving all our members to a single administration platform was a huge undertaking and I recognise it caused temporary disruption – particularly those logging into the new member portal or app for the first time. I want to thank all of our members for their patience and understanding during the necessary system outages.

I’m pleased to report that overall, everything went smoothly. At the time of writing this we are making some further enhancements to our Member Online Portal, particularly for our defined benefit members, and our teams are working hard on making these enhancements as soon as possible. All members can rest assured that you will continue to experience the high level of services you have been used to.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to formally welcome our former Energy Super members to Brighter Super.

Acquisition of SPSL: an industry-first

The next step in our journey is integrating SPSL into the Brighter Super Group. We will then offer all products and services under a single trustee and the Brighter Super brand.

This is planned to occur in May 2023, which has been brought forward from its original date in 2026. This acceleration will deliver considerable cost savings for the fund, which can them be returned to members.

Bringing the funds together will also bring a new capability to Brighter Super of working with independent financial advisers so they can provide informed information to all Brighter Super members about their Brighter Super account. This will make advice services more available to members wherever they live in Australia.

Update to our ESG policy

Another new development at Brighter Super has been the release of our updated Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Policy.

This Policy reinforces our commitment to renewable energy, as we believe this will help to build a positive and sustainable future for members and the wider community. We know that many of our members are on the frontline of the energy transition, and we are working to invest in industries where there will be opportunities for our members now and in the future. 

Brighter Super’s direct investments in the energy transition are in the wind, solar and waste to energy sectors as well as technology which enables the energy transition. I would like to emphasise that we have no plans to invest in nuclear power generation.

Our updated ESG Policy underpins our view that as the role of renewables grows, assets like wind and solar will be a solid investment of our members’ retirement savings, as well as a means to support the transition in a sustainable and positive way. 

A successful Annual Members’ Meeting

November saw the very first Brighter Super Annual Members’ Meeting, which was hosted at Brisbane City Hall and livestreamed to members across Australia.

I was honoured to be able to meet the over 200 members in attendance and, alongside our Chair John Smith and Chief Investment Officer Mark Rider, discuss our achievements over the year and answer the many insightful questions from the audience. 

We have published videos of the Annual Members' Meeting for you to watch – highlights and full-length videos are available.

Happy holidays

As we approach the end of 2022, I would like to thank all our members for your support and membership.

The future is certainly bright for our organisation and our members. I am excited to see the work we are doing each day come to fruition to deliver real benefits for members.

On behalf of everyone in the Brighter Super Group, I’d like to wish you all the best for the upcoming holiday season. I hope you and your family have a safe and happy end to the year.