In fact this financial year has been a year of ‘firsts’ with the launch of a number of new digital initiatives including personalised video and online statements, three new calculators, new e-newsletter and two new social media channels – Facebook and Instagram.
These new initiatives are about helping all of our members make the most of their super, and providing the appropriate support and guidance along the way.
Of course investments play a big part in your savings journey. While this financial year was a challenging one for investment markets, Maritime Super’s diversified options delivered positive returns for members. Global markets continued to be heavily influenced by central bank policies over the course of the year and political factors also had notable impacts.
While short-term volatility in markets is likely to prevail going forward, we continue to remind members that superannuation is a long term investment and it’s best to stay put during periods of short term volatility.
However we recognise that not all members feel comfortable with the ongoing ups and downs, that’s why we introduced the Managed Volatility Process (MVP) back in 2014. The MVP is designed to help members who want investment growth but have less tolerance to extreme market volatility. If you feel uneasy about investments markets or you’re unsure about your investment strategy, we recommend you speak to one of our financial planners who can help you stay on course to achieve your financial goals.
The Trustee regularly reviews the investment strategy of the Fund and this year took the decision to change the investment strategy of the Moderate investment option to be more growth-oriented in line with what is felt to be a suitable default investment strategy for the broader membership. On 1 July 2016 the investment strategy for the Moderate option, the default option, was changed to a target asset allocation of 70% in growth assets and 30% in defensive assets and to incorporate the MVP approach.
Today we manage $5 billion in assets for around 30,000 members, with 55% of members having been with the Fund for 10 years or more. We’re proud of our growth and development, and the trust that members have in Maritime Super to look after a very important asset – their super savings.
We encourage all members to take advantage of the many services on offer to you, including our seminar program and worksite visits across the country, Member Services team on the phones, online educational tools and financial planning team to name a few benefits.
We recently introduced ‘limited advice’ for members – this is basically industry jargon for access to financial advice over the phone. How you invest your super, and what you contribute along the way, has a direct impact on your future savings. With free financial advice over the phone, you can call and ask a financial planner about a single issue for example, which investment option to invest in, or how much extra salary to contribute to your super account – and they can provide you with guidance, after a series of questions to determine your risk profile and financial goals.
In our experience, it’s harder to get younger members to take an active interest in their super account and benefits, so we’d love to see them getting more involved, asking questions and making financial choices for their future. It’s never too late to take an interest in your super, and the sooner you start the better off you’ll be! To help members assess how their savings are tracking and make super more tangible, this year we’ve also provided retirement income projections in annual statements for eligible members, eligibility is based on projection rules set by super law.
Throughout the year, we continued to sponsor organisations such as Hunterlink Recovery Services as we’re passionate about supporting the health and wellbeing of our members and the maritime community.
We continue to look for ways to make it easy for members to access, understand and manage their super whether through new digital innovations or one-on-one support opportunities.
Finally, on behalf of the Board, management and staff at Maritime Super, thank you for your continued support.