There’s a lot that happens behind the scenes. You probably don’t want to know about every time we change the toner but here is some stuff you might care about:
We employ professional investment managers and an asset consultant to handle our assets. We assess them against strict performance criteria and make sure they complement each other, so our assets stay diversified.
We also have strict guidelines and strategies for all of our investments.
We invest your account balance in the investment option or options you choose; or in the Cash option if you don’t make a choice.
For details about how we invest assets in each of those options:
You can also download our investment beliefs.
Each dollar you invest buys 'units'. For example, if you invest $10 and the buy price is $1 per unit, you get 10 units.
You receive units in the investment option or options that you have chosen. So, if you're in our Growth option, you'll get Growth units.
The value of your units goes up and down according to the markets. So, your account balance may increase or decrease in line with the unit prices. You keep your units until you either switch investment options or withdraw super.
With us so far? (If not, get in touch and we'll run you through it.)
When you switch investment options, you trade the units you have for different units. For instance, if you switch from our Growth option to our Balanced option, you swap your Growth units for Balanced units. The value of the units in each investment option varies, so you may get more or fewer units when you switch, depending on the current unit prices.
When you make a withdrawal, you trade your units for money. The amount of money your units are worth depends on the current unit prices. So, if you withdraw $10 and your units are worth $1 each, you will trade 10 units for your money. If your units are worth $2, you will trade five units for your money.
The number of units you get depends on the buy price when we receive your contribution.
For example, if you invest $100 each month and in the first month the buy price of each unit is $1 then you get 100 units.
If, in the next month, the buy price increases to $2 you only get 50 units for your $100 contribution.
If the price decreases to 90 cents, you get 111.1111 units.
Sometimes, when you compare our returns against your current account balance it doesn't seem to add up. This is often the case when you're looking at your earnings over a short time versus returns over a year or more or the return on your account can be impacted by the timing of cash flows.
For example, an investment could have a low or negative return for the month or quarter but the 12-month period (including that month or quarter) may show a positive return.
Check out the current unit prices.
We don’t keep an investment reserve and unit prices reflect the actual earnings for the period.
We do have an administration reserve, so we can maintain equity between members and make sure we can always meet expenses.
While we employ professional investment managers and an asset consultant to provide expert advice, the trustee has the ultimate responsibility for all our activities, including investments.
Government bodies such as the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) closely monitor super fund trustees to make sure they act responsibly and in the best interests of members.
We have a system of procedures, checks and balances to make sure trustees’ decisions align with their investment strategies and objectives. Trustee directors undertake regular training around investments and other super issues.
You can download our investment beliefs.
We measure all investment managers’ performance at least monthly against industry benchmarks and our performance standards. We can dismiss investment managers if they perform poorly or don’t comply with our requirements.
We also regularly review the asset allocation of the investment options and make changes when necessary – either as a result of market performance or member demand.
In January 2009, Tasplan Super was the first Tasmanian super fund to become a signatory to the UN principles for responsible investing (UNPRI).
UNPRI plans to develop and implement a set of global principles that help environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues dovetail into mainstream investment practices.
The principles were an initiative of the UN Secretary-General and developed by large institutional investors. The six principles can be applied across all sectors of the fund’s portfolio and provide guidance on key challenges.
The principles are voluntary, aspirational and designed to enhance long-term benefits throughout the investment sector. They are not to be used as a screening tool but, rather, for ESG engagement.
Under the six UNPRI principles we will endeavour to:
The UNPRI is based on the idea that ESG issues can affect investment performance and that considering these issues is part of managing an investment portfolio. UNPRI is a tool that will lead to a greater understanding of ESG issues and a way of managing ESG risk. Its outcome should enhance and protect member benefits.
As a member of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors, we already comply with a number of the UN principles plus, we have developed our own ESG policies that we’ll develop more, over time.
For more information, visit the UNPRI website at www.unpri.org