We’re pleased to update you on developments in the 2017/18 financial year. As you will have heard, 2017 marked a very special milestone for the Fund – we turned 50! Maritime Super is one of Australia’s longest-running super funds, run only to benefit members. We’re here to help members make the most of their super, and that’s the way it’s been for over 50 years. Over the decades, we’ve delivered innovative super and retirement benefits to generations of members. We’re the largest industry fund for the maritime industry, with over 27,000 members and approaching $6 billion in assets.
The Fund’s assets are members’ hard-earned savings, and we never lose sight of that. The Board’s priority is the delivery of consistent long-term returns, to help our members achieve financial security in retirement. As such, we take the investment of your assets very seriously. Maritime Super’s investment options all delivered positive and solid returns to our members.
The 2017/18 financial year provided strong performance for global investors as economic growth continued to strengthen across most developed and emerging markets. Unemployment fell in major economies but despite the low unemployment rates, inflation remained subdued, generally reflecting weak wage growth. In Australia, GDP steadily increased on the back of increased bulk commodity prices. The RBA left the cash rate on hold for the year. The Fund’s Growth and Balanced options delivered 10.75% and 8.46%, respectively, this financial year.
We continue to focus our attention and resources on online tools to make it easy for members to understand and engage with their super. In July, we launched a new website, both public and secure sites, delivering a more personalised and intuitive experience. It’s also the third year we’ve produced an interactive personalised Annual Statement for members – a leading digital solution in the superannuation industry. Our digital offering continues to evolve and expand with a suite of calculators, educational videos, email campaigns and social media channels. Everything we do is about making sure members have the tools and support to make informed decisions to improve their financial outcomes and achieve financial security.
Every so often we like to touch base with members to find out how we’re doing through member research initiatives, and it’s something we’d like to do more frequently to stay on top of member needs and preferences. In July/August, we participated in a benchmarking study run by an external research company. In a sample of 34 funds, Maritime Super was in the top 5 super funds with respect to service delivery and member satisfaction. We were very pleased by the results – as we pride ourselves with the service we offer to our members.
Our Member Services team continue to provide friendly and quality service, supporting members with questions and benefit enquiries. One of the reasons we feel we perform so well is because, unlike larger call centres that handle several funds, we know our members very well. We encourage and endorse genuine engagement with members – our team is not rewarded for ‘getting off the phone fast’. This financial year, our average call time was 4 minutes 23 seconds and the longest call with a member was well over an hour at 1 hour 34 minutes! We’re happy to take the time needed to address and assist with enquiries.
Our financial planning team is always on hand and in contact with members to keep them abreast of issues that may impact or benefit their long-term financial position. This financial year, planners met with over 1,700 members and also visited 100 worksites across the country – offering a highly personalised service helping our members with super and investment decisions. Make sure you get acquainted with our financial planning team!
We encourage all members to take advantage of the many services on offer to you, including our seminar program, online educational resources and worksite visits.
Throughout the year, we continued to sponsor organisations such as Hunterlink as we’re passionate about supporting the health and wellbeing of our members and the maritime community.
We continue to look for ways to make it easy for members to access, understand and manage their super whether it be through new digital innovations or one-on-one support opportunities.
Finally, on behalf of the Board, management and staff at Maritime Super, thank you for your continued trust and support.