We bring you up to speed with the latest UniSuper and legislative updates that may affect you.
We're lowering our investment switch fee from 1 October 2019
The investment switch fee will reduce from $11.10 to $9.85 for your second and subsequent switches each financial year (the first switch is free).
At the end of each financial year, we update our investment fee and indirect cost disclosures for the financial year. We incorporate the updated figures into our product disclosure statements around October to reflect the actual costs incurred. These figures represent an estimate of our investment fees and indirect costs for the coming year.
From August 2019, the investment fees and indirect costs incurred for the financial year ended 30 June 2019 will be available at unisuper.com.au/investments. Normally, these figures would be the best estimate for the financial year ended 30 June 2020. For transition to retirement (TTR) members only, due to internal changes, these estimates may be up to 0.06% lower for some investment options. However, it’s important to remember the amount you’ll be charged in subsequent financial years will depend on the actual fees, costs and taxes incurred in managing each investment option.
We won’t be indexing administration fees for the following products this year:
- Defined Benefit Division (DBD)
- Flexi Pension
- Defined Benefit Indexed Pension, and
- Commercial Rate Indexed Pension.
New insurance premiums
Earlier this year, we let you know about changes to insurance premiums from 1 July 2019.1 You can view the new premiums in the Insurance in your super booklet (PDF, 1.2MB).
Introducing a Flexi Pension minimum ongoing account balance
From 1 July 2019, Flexi Pension accounts need at least $10,000 to stay open. If we anticipate a pension payment or lump sum withdrawal request will take the balance of your Flexi Pension below $10,000, we'll pay the entire balance into your nominated bank account and notify you that we’ve close your account by post.
Changes to UniSuper's regulations from 1 July 2019
We’ve updated our Regulations (which govern how we operate) to reflect the way we now calculate DBD temporary incapacity and disablement benefits, and the date they start. The updates were required because of changes we made to the way our Trust Deed sets out the waiting periods for these benefits. We explained the Trust Deed changes in the February 2019 edition of Super Informed.
Acts passed by Parliament in February 2019
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Protecting Your Superannuation Package) Act 20192 contains:
- A cap on administration and investment fees (and some indirect costs) for accounts with balances of $6,000 or less at the end of the financial year. The cap is 3% of the account balance.
- A ban on funds charging exit fees.
- A requirement for funds to transfer all inactive accounts with balances below $6,000 to the ATO. The ATO will be able to reunite ATO-held accounts with a person’s active super account.
- New insurance rules affecting members with inactive accounts. These rules prevent funds from providing insurance such as death, total and permanent disability or income protection insurance on an opt-out basis where the member’s account hasn’t received a contribution or rollover for 16 months.3
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation Measures No 1) Act 2019 applies to all APRA-regulated super funds (e.g. retail, industry, corporate and public sector funds).
It aims to ensure that the super system focuses solely on delivering outcomes for Australians and includes a raft of new measures, including requiring funds to:
- conduct an annual ‘outcomes assessment’ to ensure that the outcomes they’re delivering promote their members’ financial interests, and
- hold annual ‘members’ meetings’ to give members an opportunity to discuss and ask questions about fund performance and operations.
The Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Supporting Retirement Incomes) Act 2019 amends social services legislation to:
- expand Centrelink’s Pension Loans Scheme
- increase and expand the Centrelink Pension Work Bonus, and
- introduce new means testing for lifetime retirement income stream products (i.e. UniSuper Commercial Rate Indexed Pensions) purchased on or after 1 July 2019. These rules won’t affect UniSuper Defined Benefit Indexed Pensions, Flexi Pensions or Commercial Rate Indexed Pensions purchased before 1 July 2019.
Work test exemption for recent retirees
Effective 1 July 2019, if you’re aged between 65 and 74 and your total super balance is under $300,000, you can make voluntary contributions for 12 months from the end of the financial year in which you last met the work test. You can only claim the exemption for one financial year.
ATO launches new online services
The ATO has launched a number of online services to help you keep track of your super.
Reminder: if you have an inactive, low-balance super account, the ATO may automatically consolidate it into your active super account—so make sure the ATO has your correct details. Visit www.my.gov.au for more information.
1. These changes don’t apply to inbuilt benefits for Defined Benefit Division members.
2. The first, third and fourth points don’t apply to Defined Benefit Division members.
3. You can prevent your insurance being cancelled by making regular contributions or completing the Electing to keep your insurance form (PDF, 68KB).