How we manage investment

There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Here’s some information you might be interested in knowing about how we manage your money.

  • Tasplan SuperTasplan SuperInvestment policies

    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. If you don’t make a choice, you’ll be invested in our default options. For Tasplan Super members, this is our MySuper Tasplan OnTrack® option and for Tasplan Pension members in our Control Pension this is our Cash option.

    For details about how we invest assets in each of these options:

    You can also download our Investment beliefs and Proxy voting policy.

     

  • Tasplan SuperTasplan SuperHow do unit prices work?

    Each dollar you invest buys 'units'. For example, if you invest $10 and the price is $1 each unit, you get 10 units.

    You receive units in the investment option or options that you've 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 walk you through it.

    Switches and withdrawals

    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 Tasplan OnTrack option, you sell your Growth units to buy Tasplan OnTrack 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 sell 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'll sell 10 units for your money. If your units are worth $2, you'll sell five units for your money.

    How many units do you get?

    The number of units you get depends on the unit price when we receive your contribution.

    For example, if you invest $100 each month and in the first month the unit price of each unit is $1, then you get 100 units.

    If in the next month the unit 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.

  • Tasplan SuperTasplan SuperOur reserving policy

    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.

  • Tasplan SuperTasplan SuperTrustee procedures

    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.

  • Tasplan SuperTasplan SuperUN principles for responsible investing (UNPRI)

    In January 2009, Tasplan Super was the first Tasmanian super fund to become a signatory to the UN principles for responsible investing (UNPRI).

    What does this mean?

    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.

    Six principles

    Under the six UNPRI principles, we'll endeavour to:

    • incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes
    • be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices
    • seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest
    • promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry
    • work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the principles
    • each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the principles.
    Tasplan Super and UNPRI

    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 unpri.org.

  • Tasplan SuperTasplan SuperTasplan Super ('Tasplan') Climate Change Position Statement

    What is climate change and what are the impacts?

    The term ‘climate change’ refers to observed increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, since accurate measurement records have been kept. It is a widely accepted view in Australia and internationally that climate change has occurred and will continue to occur, as a result of human-produced carbon emissions.

    The actual and potential impacts of climate change include melting of snow and ice, rising global sea levels, changes to atmospheric and ocean circulation, changes to rainfall and wind patterns, and higher incidence of extreme weather events such as fires, floods and storms.

    What risks and opportunities does climate change pose to investment portfolios?

    Climate change and its impacts, and the associated regulatory responses, give rise to a number of risks and potential opportunities for institutional investors such as Tasplan.

    Climate change risks include:

    • The potential for physical damage to assets due to the effects of climate change (e.g. due to rising sea levels, and/or extreme weather events such as heatwaves, wildfires or floods).
    • The risk of regulatory responses and/or government policy impacting the investment case for certain assets (e.g. carbon taxes or tighter emission regulations).
    • The potential for demand for certain assets to reduce as new technologies are developed or the social licence for certain industries is eroded (for example coal and other fossil fuels).

    Climate change opportunities include:

    • The emergence of new industries aimed at the mitigation of climate change impacts (e.g. low emission transportation and more resilient infrastructure).
    • Opportunities to invest in renewable energy (e.g. solar, wave and wind power generation) and other less carbon-intensive industries.
    • Utilisation of government subsidies to encourage investment in carbon-mitigation infrastructure.
    • Avoiding investments susceptible to the impacts of climate change that might become stranded assets.

    What global action is being taken in response to climate change risk?

    The best way to address the risks of climate change is through co-ordinated global co-operation and action.

    In December 2015 various parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) came to agreement on combating global climate change. This is known as the Paris Agreement (‘Agreement’). A key consideration of the Agreement was how global investment can help contribute to a reduction in carbon emissions and global warming. The Agreement recognises that a global economic transition is required in order to achieve the goal of limiting global warming to below two degrees Celsius and move towards net zero emissions by 2050. This transition to a lower carbon environment may therefore present risks, as well as opportunities, to the investment of financial resources.

    As a large institutional investor, Tasplan is monitoring how the global investment environment may change as it transitions over time to meet the Agreement goals, along with how we can contribute to positive outcomes.

    How does Tasplan deal with climate change?

    Tasplan deals with climate change risks under the terms of its Investment Governance Framework. This Framework:

    • Recognises that superannuation is a long-term investment.
    • States that Tasplan aims to maximise risk-adjusted returns over the long term and will not pursue strategies that put the sustainability of long term returns at risk.
    • Requires Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors to be incorporated into all investment decision-making.
    • Is regularly reviewed to ensure it remains appropriate.

    At the present time, Tasplan carries out the following specific activities in relation to climate change:

    • Monitoring: Tasplan regularly engages with its investment managers to discuss the extent to which ESG factors, including climate change, are considered in the management of Tasplan’s assets, and will be seeking to measure the intensity of carbon exposure in its equity portfolios in the coming year.
    • Investment Mandates: All of Tasplan’s investment mandates, both internal and external, require managers to consider ESG and vote Tasplan’s shares.
    • Engagement: Tasplan believes that advocacy and engagement are important avenues for effecting change. Tasplan is a member of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) and is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI). Tasplan proudly supports the engagement and advocacy activities of these organisations and actively encourages its managers to become signatories. Further information on the activities of UNPRI can be found on their website at www.unipri.org.
    • Investment opportunities: Tasplan’s portfolios include investment opportunities that should be more resilient to the impacts of climate change and/or will benefit from the transition to a low-carbon world. Examples include wind, wave and solar power generation.
    • Research: Tasplan will continue to conduct and monitor research into the effects and potential risks of climate change, and consider the potential impacts on the investment portfolio.

    What is planned for the future?

    Tasplan will continue to monitor this important issue and will evolve our practice and policies in response to emerging risks, research and market practice.

    July 2019

     

  • Tasplan SuperTasplan SuperTasplan supporting a sustainable Tasmania

    Tasplan is committed to responsible investing and believes that investing sustainably can contribute to our goal of building long-term retirement incomes for our members. Occasionally, members provide feedback querying exposure to certain industries or stocks that are contrary to their social values.

    ESG commitment

    As a starting point, Tasplan has to consider the best interests of all members when framing its investment strategy. It's not feasible to implement an investment approach that will match the individual value preferences of all members. Tasplan has adopted Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) analysis into its investment decision-making as a means of seeking to meet the investment needs of as broad a universe of members as possible. Our ESG activities provide a responsible investment overlay to drive improved company behaviour and positive social outcomes from our investment activities.

    In this way, Tasplan doesn't typically adopt exclusion strategies, preferring to consider a broad range of factors that may materially impact investment performance. Where a company is involved in a negative activity or is deemed to have practices which fail to meet shareholder and community expectations, Tasplan prefers to engage with company management to promote improved standards. By divesting, Tasplan forgoes the ability to influence company strategy.

    Fossil fuels

    Nevertheless, Tasplan may periodically avoid investment in certain activities due to unacceptable risk return parameters and poor ESG assessment. In the case of fossil fuels exposure, Tasplan has no current intention to divest entirely from fossil fuels companies, but will increasingly consider the impact of climate change on investment risk and opportunity across all investments. Accordingly, we're interested in how investments are exposed to operational risk in the context of a warming planet and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the medium term.

    Tasplan will continue to have exposure to fossil fuel stocks from time-to-time where the investment case remains attractive and the company is managing its climate change risk. It's true that the outlook for coal companies is clouded in the context of future energy policy and Tasplan holds a very minimal exposure to a single operator in Whitehaven Coal (WHC). To put this stock in context, WHC exposure represents about 0.01% of Tasplan’s overall portfolio, which is currently valued at around $10 billion. WHC’s weighting on the ASX is about 0.18% meaning Tasplan are very significantly 'underweight' Whitehaven relative to a passive index exposure. However, Tasplan does have a small exposure to Whitehaven because one of Tasplan’s ‘enhanced index’ equity managers holds a significant number of stock names in order to manage risk relative to the benchmark. This is an extremely cost effective way for Tasplan’s members to gain exposure to the stockmarket.

    Tasmanian investment

    In contrast with the minor WHC holding, Tasplan is a significant contributor to Tasmania’s economic growth through our investment contribution across the State. Indeed, Tasplan has nearly 5% of members’ Funds invested in local Tasmanian businesses, including equity investments in local food growers such as Nichols (ethical free range chickens), Pyngana Dairy, Meander Valley Dairy and Shima Wasabi. Many of these businesses have a sustainable focus. Tasplan also contributes to renewable energy investment through a wind turbine ownership. Additionally, Tasplan acts as an enabler for small and medium sized Tasmanian businesses across the economy via our internal commercial lending team creating business expansion, development and employment opportunities for Tasmanians. Tasplan is unequalled among superannuation peers in its contribution to the local Tasmanian economy.

    Profits to members

    Tasplan recognises there are a range of investment approaches regarding fossil fuel exposure in superannuation investment including a minor range of options that may look to completely avoid investment in fossil fuels. Tasplan is a profit-to-members fund unlike many fossil fuel free options which attract higher fees and are typically owned by entities listed on the Australian stock exchange.

    Tasplan will continue to conduct and monitor research into the effects and potential risks of Climate Change, and to consider potential impacts on the investment portfolio. While fossil fuels investment may be a significant issue for some of our members, Tasplan’s investment activities, across the State and more broadly, signify our commitment to promoting sustainable investment outcomes.