The past year was another good year for the Fund, introducing new products and services and managing almost $6 billion for our 27,000-plus members. We take that responsibility very seriously and are constantly reviewing our products, investments and services to help members make the most of their super.
As always, investments play a key role in your savings strategy. For the financial markets, the year started (and finished!) strongly. However, volatility was a key theme that continued throughout 2018/19, with US-China trade tensions and uncertainty surrounding Brexit being two of the main culprits contributing to this volatility. And while market volatility is likely to continue, always keep in mind the fact that superannuation is a long-term investment, and reactions to short-term market fluctuations are not advisable.
While this financial year was another challenging one for markets, we’re happy to report that all Maritime Super’s investment options delivered positive returns for 2018/19.
The Trustee regularly reviews the Fund’s investment strategy, and in November we introduced the Indexed Diversified option, which is invested 70% in growth assets (Australian Shares and International Shares) and 30% in defensive assets (Fixed Interest and Cash).
In an indexed option, investments will closely match the relevant market index but they are not managed by an investment manager. We introduced this option for members who want investment growth through a diversified investment strategy but without the additional costs associated with an actively managed investment option.
Our investment strategy is focused on long-term fundamentals and diversification to deliver solid long-term returns. Remember, our financial planners are here to help you if you feel uneasy about the markets or you’re unsure about your investment strategy.
For maritime workers, insurance is an important benefit that provides peace of mind. We regularly review our service contracts to ensure that members are getting the best deal; after an extensive tender process, we appointed MLC Limited as the Fund’s new insurer from 1 July 2019.
MLC Limited will provide members with death, disablement and income protection cover. As a result of our new insurance arrangements, members benefit from reduced premiums for Income Protection cover, a more simplified underwriting process and online tools and resources to help members manage their insurance.
We’re here for members and are committed to providing exceptional service. It’s a commitment that is reflected by high ratings in member satisfaction surveys, such as the Net Promoter Score (NPS), conducted by external researchers. In fact, we’re consistently rated in the top 3 super funds surveyed for member service – something we take great pride in.
We listened to you and, noting an ever-increasing demand for easier access to your super information, launched our Member App in April. We’ve had incredible take-up of the App and have received great feedback from members. It’s all about making the most of your super on the go.
The Member App gives you secure access to your account to check your balance and contributions, manage your investments, view your insurance and so much more. You can even receive notifications or reminders for goals you set for yourself. If you haven’t already downloaded this App, simply go to your phone’s app store to download it.
Another success story this year has been our worksite visit program, which has exceeded all targets. This program is unique – you will not find any other super fund with such a visible presence at worksites. We realise that it’s not convenient for most members to visit our office during business hours, so the purpose of this program is to travel across the country and meet with members one-on-one to deliver educational content and answer any questions about super.
Being onsite provides an extra level of support for members, and we have received very positive feedback from members, saying that ‘they have been wanting to meet with us but could never find the time’. We’re also very grateful to all those employers who have given our staff access to worksites.
And speaking of support, we’re passionate about promoting the health and wellbeing of members, and proudly support Hunterlink Recovery Services who do such an incredible job helping members and their families through difficult times.
On behalf of the Board, management and staff at Maritime Super, thank you for your continued support. We remain committed to our goal of helping members make the very most of their super.