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SuperRatings' Pension of the Year 4 years in a row4
When it comes to making members’ lives better, QSuper’s Head of Technical Advice, Lyn Melcer, leads by example. Passionate about ensuring all members receive the service and support they need, she challenges everyone to consider where they can make a difference.
Putting in the effort to make our members’ lives better through equality, is a priority for Ms Melcer.
"This is a world where individuals can make a difference. Don't ever think you can't, because you can," Ms Melcer said.
Speaking at a Women in Super online event in July 2021, Ms Melcer said QSuper staff were committed to making a difference to our members’ lives.
She said our staff were encouraged and empowered to provide support and services to our members, no matter where or how they lived, or what circumstances or challenges they might be dealing with.
"People have unique living circumstances and we at QSuper, and in the wider superannuation industry, have a responsibility to take the time to understand those circumstances and help each and every member in ways that are meaningful to them," Ms Melcer said.
She is passionate about ensuring members receive the service and support they need.
For example, when it comes to members from remote Indigenous communities, Ms Melcer has spoken with, and seen first-hand the challenges faced by people trying to stay connected and understand their superannuation.
Ms Melcer joined the Indigenous Superannuation Working Group in 2013, which is supported by the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees, and subsequently, in 2014, was invited to visit the Lockhart River community in Far North Queensland, where she saw the unique needs people have in relation to their superannuation.
"That trip started us on our journey, one which many staff at QSuper are continuing today. What we learned was what our members needed from us, and not just QSuper, but from the industry as well."
After that first trip, Ms Melcer and other QSuper staff have regularly travelled the state to remote communities, meeting people in places including Doomadgee, Bamaga, Northern Peninsula Area and Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY Lands) in South Australia.
"Before I started travelling to these communities, I didn’t think there was any real need to go, because QSuper, like all superannuation [funds], treats everybody equally," she said.
"But what I found is that equality requires everybody to start on equal footing and they don’t. For example, you might think that everybody has a drivers’ license, but in reality, they don't."
When Ms Melcer and her team discovered that a lack of formal identification meant a lot of members in remote communities were having trouble accessing or interacting with their super, they pushed for the identification rules to become more flexible.
As a result, AUSTRAC, one of the bodies that provide superannuation industry guidelines, allowed super funds to be more flexible around identification.1
"Our job always has to be to keep people connected to their money, so we just have to work with our members to find out what kind of ID they can provide us that satisfies our legislative needs as well."
QSuper staff regularly use initiative to come up with creative solutions to member challenges around age, cultural backgrounds, domestic violence situations and many other vulnerable situations.
"We have people championing individual cases all over the business, we've got individuals challenging the status quo for the better outcome for members," Ms Melcer said.
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1. AUSTRAC, Identifying customers who don’t have conventional forms of ID, accessed 12 August 2021
The opinions expressed and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the QSuper Board. No responsibility is taken for the accuracy of any of the information supplied and you should seek advice for your circumstances.
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A message from our Acting Chief Executive Officer Charles Woodhouse.