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Since becoming Chair of QSuper on January 1, I have had the chance to witness first hand the QSuper team’s exceptional dedication to you, our members.
This was not surprising to me as I have observed QSuper’s evolution from afar through my involvement in the superannuation industry over many years and as a member of the community.
My predecessor Karl Morris, AO, informed you last November that we were exploring a partnership with another Queensland fund, Sunsuper. At that time, he committed to keep you informed of how these discussions progress.
Today, I am pleased to advise you that following discussions over the past month, the Boards of both funds have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enter a period of exclusive diligence to explore a merger.
This is an important step in the process and the QSuper Board’s sole focus is to ensure that a merger with Sunsuper will only proceed if it is in the best interests of you, our members. The purpose of the work we are about to commence is to provide the Boards of both funds with the information necessary to make this determination.
As you would appreciate, the due diligence process will take some time. The Board’s responsibility is significant, and I expect that the process will take many months and there is much to be done.
I want to assure you, as your new Chair, that the QSuper Trustees will focus solely on the best interests of our members. If we are satisfied that this test is met, there will also be a need for appropriate federal regulatory consultation and the passage of State legislation.
QSuper is already one of the largest funds in the country and we have a proud record of creating award-winning products and services which deliver the benefits of strong performance while keeping our fees low. Continuing to deliver this is front of mind for the QSuper Board and we are exploring whether the merger of QSuper and Sunsuper will enhance our ability to continue to do this this.
Both QSuper and Sunsuper are award-winning, profit-for-member funds. This means we each focus entirely on maximising the retirement outcomes of our membership. There is a great deal of alignment and common purpose that unites us.
The MoU we have signed means we can explore in more detail what synergies we have and whether combining the organisations is in the best interests of our members.
I will continue to update you on the progress of discussions.
From our initial announcement of high level talks in November, these have been the most common member questions.
Q: Why do you need a partnership/merger?
A: The Board’s role is to manage the fund in the best interests of members. The Board’s role therefore includes exploring partnerships that align to our goals and values particularly given the changing superannuation landscape in Australia.
The QSuper Board believes that a merger with Sunsuper has the potential to deliver enhanced benefits, products and services, whilst maintaining low fees into the future. The work that is about to commence will examine this to inform the Board’s decision.
The 2018 Productivity Commission inquiry report into superannuation1 observed that members can benefit from economies of scale in super and thoughtful partnerships. The sustainability and continued growth of our fund is in the best interests of our members, because with more members we can continue to keep our fees low and invest on a global scale.
Q: Why are you looking at a merger with Sunsuper?
A: QSuper and Sunsuper are both award-winning, profit-for member funds, focussed exclusively on maximising the retirement outcomes of our respective members. Our values and goals are aligned. The MoU means we can explore in more detail what synergies exist with our products, services and expertise and whether combining all or part of them is in the best interests of both memberships.
Q: I’m a Defined Benefit member. Will this affect my Defined Benefit account?
A: No. Any merger will not change a Defined Benefit that a member is entitled to. Those benefits are underwritten by the State Government under an agreed formula enshrined in legislation and the funds are administered by QSuper.
Q: How long will this take?
A: While the discussions have progressed to a more detailed stage, there is much more to be done before any final decisions are made. This will take some time. We will keep members informed as we progress.
1. Productivity Commission Inquiry Report. ‘Superannuation: Assessing Efficiency and Competitiveness.’ 21 December 2018
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