Achievements in a time of adversity

Recent achievements we’re proud of include transferring of superannuation members to better arrangements, safeguarding the interests of friendly society policyholders at a time of historically low interest rates and ensuring the integrity of unit pricing processes so member value and distributions are accurate.

The impact of COVID-19 has been profound in Australia and across the world. At McGing we know we are privileged to have jobs that cope well with social distancing and service industries that support people’s financial futures. We are grateful to our clients for looking to us to provide insight and support to deal with the investment, risk and administration challenges of the current environment and take the opportunity to improve processes to improve efficiencies, reduce costs and better service members in the medium term.

Recognising industry efforts

As Deputy Chair of the ASFA Victoria Executive Committee, we continue to meet and hold events virtually including the increasingly popular superannuation topic discussion groups, I get a great appreciation of the workloads within funds and providers. The greatest achievement has been the rapid and effective implementation of the Early Release Scheme. Money was in the hands of members amazingly quickly when you consider the behind the scenes system and process work required including communication across funds, administration providers and the ATO. A good omen for future flexibility and capability, in happier times.

Another achievement worth noting was that the legal system rapidly moved from personal to virtual court hearings. I experienced that directly when I presented via Zoom as an expert witness on the principles of investment risk vs return in a class action case in the Victorian Supreme Court. A new experience to be cross examined on video.

Another promising achievement is the reduction in superannuation member fees emerging as a result of scale being achieved through fund mergers, and APRA’s heat map illumination for MySuper. COVID-19 related accelerants for merging include funds under management reduction from the early release scheme, market falls and the prospect of lower for longer future investment returns, in addition to trustees always endeavouring to act in members bests interests.

Keeping spirits high

And finally, a small personal achievement. At the start of what was to be 6 week lockdown I decided I needed some extra encouragement to force myself away from my work station twice a week before sunset, so I set myself a goal of breaking my 5km run personal best – set in November 2018. With some pain up the hill to home on Saturday, I beat my previous personal best by 5 seconds! Now back to work and the next challenge.