Service interruptions: 9 September 2017
Please note that systems maintenance that was scheduled for Saturday, 2 September has been moved to Saturday, 9 September. This will interrupt access to our online services between 9 am and 5 pm (Sydney time) on that day.
1 July 2017 indexed increases
- The member fee will increase (in line with increases in Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings) from $7.14 to $7.29 a month.
- To ensure they keep pace with inflation (CPI), the current scales of minimum levels of cover for death and total and permanent disablement will increase by 2.1%.
Insurance cover/claims where sanctions apply
On 1 July 2016 our insurer, AIA Australia, moved its reinsurance arrangements to a new offshore partner, AXA Re.
If AIA or AXA Re were to provide cover or pay a claim to a person who is subject to trade or economic sanctions they could be exposed to penalties or restrictions. To date, no such issue has ever arisen for AIA.
Both parties are committed to complying with relevant sanction legislation in the jurisdictions in which they operate*. As such, both parties have agreed that AIA policy documents and the treaty between AIA and AXA Re are to state that AIA may decline to provide cover or pay a claim if it would expose either party to any sanctions penalty or restriction.
Effective from 1 July 2016, an Aon Master Trust member who has a trade or economic sanction placed against them would not be eligible for insurance cover and would not be paid out on any claim received on or after that date.
* These jurisdictions must have regard to sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council. Some jurisdictions, including Australia and the European Union, also impose sanctions autonomously.
Brexit: UK decides to leave the EU - implications for investments and super
The UK government has announced the conclusion of its European Union (EU) referendum - the decision has been made for the UK to leave the EU.
Aon is closely monitoring the implications of this decision as details unfold. Aon's team of capital markets researchers in London are well-positioned by experience and geography to make assessments.
While this historic decision is creating near-term volatility in investment markets, it is important to note that its full regulatory impact will unfold over a period of at least two years as the UK negotiates the terms of its exit. There will be significant commentary and speculation on the impact of Brexit in the days to come, and it will likely be some time before we have a clear picture of the actual implications.
Reacting to short-term fluctuations in markets is not advisable, especially for long-term investments such as superannuation.
We are monitoring the next steps in the exit process closely and will post further updates as we know more.
Funding compliance costs
On 1 July 2016 the trustee will discontinue the 0.05% pa deduction that commenced in July 2013 to fund an increase in the Operational Risk Reserve. That increase was in line with new prudential standards introduced by the Government requiring super fund trustees to 'reserve' funds to cover the costs of any adverse operational events that may occur, and for such funding to be met by 30 June 2016.
However, due to the ongoing costs to the trustee of complying with the prudential standards, a new (but lower) charge of 0.02% pa will apply from 1 July 2016. This charge will be deducted from the unit price of each managed investment option and, if you have a direct investment option (DIO) account, will be added to the asset fee deduction from your DIO cash account.
Privacy updates: 1 March 2016
Our Privacy Statement and Privacy Notice changed on 1 March 2016.
There are three main changes. We have:
- clarified that we use some personal information for the purposes of analytics (and associated disclosures)
- modified the information we provide about cross-border disclosures, to ensure that our position is communicated more clearly.
The updated documents take effect from 1 March 2016. Your personal information will be handled in accordance with these policies unless you advise us that you do not want us to do so. If you have any questions, please contact the Privacy Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aon Master Trust no longer accepts UK pension benefit transfers
As a result of changes to UK pension laws in 2015, the Aon Master Trust (along with the vast majority of Australian super funds) is no longer regarded by the UK tax office, HMRC, as a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS). HMRC requires any overseas super fund that wishes to accept UK pension benefit transfers to be a QROPS. Accordingly, the Aon Master Trust can no longer accept such transfers.
If you wish to transfer a UK pension benefit to Australia, you can check the list of recognised schemes on the HMRC website. We also recommend that, before making a transfer decision, you seek financial advice both here and in the UK regarding each country's rules and the factors you need to consider.
Reduction in minimum investment for Pension - Essentials
Please note that the minimum investment for Pension - Essentials has reduced from $50,000 to $20,000. This lower investment amount offers greater accessibility and flexibility for members, particularly those wishing to start a transition to retirement pension.
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End-December timings for rollovers and transfers
Potential delays in rollovers out of the Aon Master Trust
Super funds are required to use the ATO's Fund Validation Service to validate all requests for rollovers out. The ATO has just announced that this service will be unavailable from Friday 26 December to Thursday 1 January (inclusive). As a result, the processing of requests for rollovers out of the Aon Master Trust that we receive on or after Monday 22 December will be delayed until 2 January.
Transfers between Aon Master Trust products
Transfers between Aon Master Trust products are not affected by the above. However, if you wish a transfer (including a transfer from Corporate or Personal Super to start a Pension account) to be processed by the end of December, we must receive your transfer request, together with the required documents, on or before Wednesday 24 December.
Media report 26 Nov - Fraud Control
As you may be aware, over the past 24 hours there have been media reports that an employee of a superannuation administrator has been charged with a number of fraud offences. It is alleged the individual in question altered documents and accessed member accounts to fraudulently transfer more than $3.9 million over a period of eight years. While the man was arrested at his workplace, NSW Police have not released the details of the man's employer. We can confirm that the individual is not an employee of the Aon Master Trust's outsourced administration provider.
We would like to reassure all our clients that our administration provider has a range of preventative controls and reporting mechanisms in place to guard against fraud and to quickly detect any potential instance of fraud.
Account-based pensions and Centrelink income test—change from 1 Jan 2015
The treatment of account-based pensions under Centrelink's income test will change from 1 January 2015 and this could impact some individuals' Centrelink entitlements such as the age pension.
Account-based pensions, including transition to retirement pensions, that commence on or after 1 January 2015 will be subject to normal deeming rules for Centrelink income test purposes. Deeming means that the balance of an account-based pension will be 'deemed' to earn a certain amount of income (regardless of the income actually generated) and that amount will be used to assess entitlements for Government benefits under the income test. This is a change from the current rules where the annual pension payment less the Centrelink deductible amount is used to assess entitlements for Government benefits.
The current rules will continue to apply if:
1. you receive Centrelink income support immediately before 1 January 2015 and after that date, and
2. your account-based pension commenced before 1 January 2015.
If you satisfy point 1) above, now may be a good time to assess your circumstances and the potential benefits of commencing an account-based pension before 1 January 2015. We recommend you discuss this with your financial adviser. If you don’t have an adviser, you can call us on 1300 880 588 or email us about our financial advice services.
More information: Dept of Human Services, Aon Master Trust Pension – Essentials Product Disclosure Statement.
Changes for Personal Super members
Effective 1 March 2014, there are some fee changes for Personal Super members.
The asset administration fee in Personal Super reduced by 0.05% pa effective 1 March 2014. This reduction is to compensate Personal Super members for a 0.05% pa increase in superannuation investment management fees effective the same date and which results from changes that do not affect Personal Super (being regulatory changes and new services and calculators in Corporate Super). Please refer to the Personal Super - Essentials Fees and costs document.