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Super news wrap-up

Media release - 30 Oct 2023

ART Board announces global executive search as inaugural CEO Bernard Reilly stands down

On 7 September 2023, the ART Board announced that Bernard Reilly informed them of his intention to leave the Fund in February 2024, two years after executing Australia’s largest superannuation merger.

Chair Andrew Fraser thanked Mr Reilly for his leadership and paid tribute to the organisational culture he will leave behind.

“Bern will leave an incredible legacy, having played an integral role in delivering Australia’s largest superannuation merger to create Australian Retirement Trust back in February 2022,” said Mr Fraser.

Outgoing ART CEO Bernard Reilly said he will forever be honoured to have been ART’s inaugural CEO.

“This has been an enormous decision for my family and me, but I know that I am stepping away at the right time for Australian Retirement Trust,” said Mr Reilly.

“I will leave behind a highly experienced and talented executive team who at the core have a commitment to serve Australian Retirement Trust’s more than 2.3 million members.”

ART has appointed Egon Zehnder to commence a global executive search for a new CEO. Mr Reilly will remain as the Fund’s CEO until February 2024, marking two years since the merger.

ART hits $260 billion in retirement savings with completion of Woolworths and Endeavour SFT

On 22 August 2023, ART completed a Successor Fund Transfer (SFT) with Woolworths Group and Endeavour Group, welcoming over 25,000 new members from Australia’s largest employer.

It’s our second largest SFT to date, bringing in an additional $4.3 billion into the Fund and taking total funds under administration to more than $260 billion and total member numbers to more than 2.3 million.

ART’s Chief Commercial Officer, Dave Woodall, said that the latest SFT signals the strength of ART’s offering for corporate clients and their employees and the Fund’s growth trajectory.

“The Woolworths decision came soon after Australia Post also transitioned its staff superannuation arrangements to Australian Retirement Trust, with $8 billion and 28,000 members transferred,” Mr Woodall said.

We’re doubling our Sustainable Investments team

On 17 August 2023, we announced plans to expand our Sustainable Investments team to enhance our focus on sustainable investing across ART’s (at the time) $240bn portfolio.

ART’s Head of Sustainable Investments, Nicole Bradford, said that issues such as climate change and the global challenge of transitioning the economy to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, meant expanding work in this space and a need to grow the team with 8 newly created roles.

“At Australian Retirement Trust, we believe that investing for the long-term in the best financial interests of our more than 2.2 million members includes managing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks, like climate change, today,” Ms Bradford said.

West Australians more likely to have multiple super accounts

On 14 August 2023, we shared that research we commissioned found 22 per cent of West Australians are likely to have multiple super accounts. This compares to 15 per cent in New South Wales, 12 per cent in Victoria and 16 per cent in Queensland.

ART’s Acting Chief of Retirement, Anne Fuchs, said the survey of more than 2,000 Australians*, run by YouGov, also found that 68 per cent of West Australians have not made an active choice with their superannuation.

“This survey highlights that West Australians are on average less engaged with their super fund than other states,” Ms Fuchs said.

“Investing time into your super is investing in your future – so the sooner you engage, the better.

“Having multiple super accounts means you may be paying multiple sets of administration fees, investment fees and insurance premiums.

“It is important that you consider the benefits available to you in your super funds and consider which ones are right for you. Bringing your accounts together and making an active choice on your investment and insurance arrangements could save you money and simplify your super, making a huge difference at retirement.”

Online searches for superannuation double in four years

On 14 August 2023, we shared that Australians are heading online to learn about superannuation like never before, with searches relating to superannuation as much as doubling over the last four years.

Data analysed by one of the nation’s largest super funds, Australian Retirement Trust (ART), shows there’s been nearly twice as many Google searches for ‘superannuation Australia’ this year compared to the same length of time in 2019.

ART’s Acting Chief of Retirement, Anne Fuchs, said it’s a clear sign Australians are wanting to know more about super.

“The reality is many Australians don’t know a lot about superannuation, which is concerning given it is likely their biggest, or second biggest financial asset,” Ms Fuchs said.

“This Google search data clearly shows people want to be more informed about super, but Google may not be your best option when you can access so much free information and education directly through your super fund.

“At Australian Retirement Trust, financial advice about your super is included as part of your membership so there’s no additional cost, and that would be my biggest message to people is to seek out advice.

“It’s important to remember that super is a long-term investment, so you should make sure you are getting the right advice for the long-term.”

*Finance and Superannuation Study, a survey prepared for ART by YouGov. Conducted online 2,113 Australians aged over 18, who have super and are not retired between 28 September and 6 October 2022.