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Guide to UniSuper

Competitive fees, a wide range of investment options and a super to suit every life stage.

If you work in the higher education and research sector, UniSuper is a super fund designed to suit your financial needs. As a not-for-profit fund, UniSuper’s aim is to benefit its 390,000+ members around Australia.

It offers an extensive range of superannuation and pension accounts to suit the financial needs and investment goals of members at a variety of life stages. It also provides a choice of myriad investment options, allowing you to choose from pre-mixed options or create your own diversified portfolio of different asset classes.

UniSuper also offers competitive fees and a plethora of educational resources to help you get more out of your super, so read on to find out whether it could be the right super fund for you.

A closer look at UniSuper

UniSuper is the industry super fund for people who work in Australia’s higher education and research sector. With close to 400,000 members and $57.5 billion in net funds under management, it is one of the largest super funds in Australia. Founded in October 2000, its headquarters are in Melbourne and it also has offices in Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

What’s Internet banking like with UniSuper?

UniSuper members can manage their super or pension account 24/7 via the MemberOnline portal. This allows you to check your balance, monitor transactions and the performance of your investments, update your details and access a wide range of educational resources whenever you want. You can register for the service online by providing your UniSuper membership number.

What super funds does UniSuper offer?

  • Accumulation 1. Accumulation 1 accounts are for members who receive at least 9.5% Superannuation Guarantee contributions. It offers investment choice and flexibility as well as the ability to apply for income protection cover and additional death/TPD cover.
  • Accumulation 2. Accumulation 2 accounts are for members who receive up to 17% employer contributions and who chose to switch from a Defined Benefit Division account in the first 24 months of membership. It gives you the freedom to choose how to invest your balance and provides access to death, TPD and income protection cover.
  • Defined Benefit Division. Defined Benefit Division members typically work full time within the university sector and receive employer contributions of up to 17%. If you hold this account, your benefit will usually include a defined benefit component and an accumulation component.
  • Spouse Accounts. UniSuper members can also open an account for their spouse, allowing them to take advantage of the competitive fees and investment options offered by the provider.

What pensions does UniSuper offer?

UniSuper offers three pension accounts to its members:

  • Flexi Pension. You can tailor the Flexi Pension to suit your life stage and financial needs. It can provide a regular income once you’ve left the workforce, provide a way to boost your super if you’re still working and can help supplement your income if you’re working reduced hours. They have a minimum initial investment of $25,000.
  • Defined Benefit Indexed Pension. This pension is only available to members who joined the Defined Benefit Division before 1 July 1998 and have remained a continuous member of this division. You have the flexibility to use all or part of your defined benefit component to open this pension, which can provide an ongoing monthly income. There is no minimum initial investment required.
  • Commercial Rate Indexed Pension. This pension provides monthly payments so that you can enjoy income for the rest of your life. It is indexed to provide protection against inflation and is available as a single or joint pension. A minimum initial investment of $25,000 is required.

What features does UniSuper offer?

UniSuper offers the following benefits and features to its members:

  • Not-for-profit. As UniSuper does not pay any shareholder dividends or commissions to financial advisers, all of its profits go back into the fund for the benefit of its members.
  • Competitive fees. UniSuper’s full fee structure is outlined below, but you won’t have to worry about paying any entry or exit fees to your fund. It’s free to choose an investment option when you become a member and you get one free investment option switch per year.
  • Insurance cover. New UniSuper members receive default death and TPD cover that is backed by TAL Life Limited. You are also able to apply for additional cover or opt out of insurance at any time.
  • Extensive choice. With a broad range of investment options available and products to suit people of all ages, UniSuper can help you match your superannuation to your life stage and financial goals.
  • Learning Centre. If you want to find out more about how to manage your super, UniSuper offers an online learning centre with videos, webcasts, podcasts and information on upcoming seminars.

What investment options are available with UniSuper?

UniSuper offers a choice of seven pre-mixed investment options to its members:

  • Capital Stable. This option is for members who want exposure to mainly defensive assets such as bonds and cash. The Capital Stable option aims to achieve returns that are at least 1.5% p.a. more than inflation (Consumer Price Index - CPI). It has a minimum suggested investment timeframe of five years.
  • Conservative Balanced. The Conservative Balanced option invests in a diversified portfolio and is for investors who don’t want large fluctuations in the value of their investments. It aims to achieve a return of at least 2.5% p.a. more than the CPI and has a suggested minimum investment timeframe of four years.
  • Balanced. A MySuper offering for some UniSuper members, the Balanced option focuses mainly on growth assets such as shares, property, infrastructure and private equity. It has a suggested minimum investment timeframe of 10 years and aims to achieve a return of at least 3% p.a. more than the CPI.
  • Sustainable Balanced. This option invests in a diversified portfolio of Australian and international shares, with shares chosen based on sustainable investment criteria, as well as in Australian listed property, fixed interest and cash. It has a suggested minimum investment timeframe of six years and aims to achieve a return of at least 3% p.a. more than the CPI.
  • Growth. The Growth portfolio focuses your investments in mainly growth assets, including shares, property and infrastructure. It has a suggested minimum investment timeframe of seven years and aims to achieve a return of at least 4% p.a. more than the CPI.
  • High Growth. With investments in Australian and international shares, property, infrastructure and private equity, the High Growth portfolio aims to achieve a return of at least 5% p.a. more than the CPI. It has a suggested minimum investment timeframe of seven years.
  • Sustainable High Growth. The Sustainable High Growth option aims to achieve a return of at least 5% p.a. more than the CPI and has a suggested minimum investment timeframe of seven years. It involves investments in Australian listed property and in Australian and international shares selected on the basis of sustainable investment criteria.

UniSuper also offers a range of Sector options, which mainly invest within a particular asset class. These Sector investment options are mainly single asset class options and are combined with other options to create a diversified portfolio. The Sector options on offer include the following:

  • Australian bond
  • Australian equity income
  • Australian shares
  • Cash
  • Global companies in Asia
  • Global environmental opportunities
  • International shares
  • Listed property
  • Diversified credit income

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What fees apply to UniSuper?

There are two types of fees you need to consider when opening a UniSuper account: administration fees and investment fees. The table below outlines the administration fees that apply to the different types of UniSuper accounts:

Account typeAdministration fee
Accumulation 1$96 per year
Spouse Account$96 per year
Defined Benefit Division$221 per year
Accumulation 2$96 per year
Flexi Pension$96 per year
Defined Benefit Indexed Pension$301 per year
Commercial Rate Indexed Pension$301 per year

Investment fees also apply to your account and will differ depending on the investment option you choose. The table below shows the total investment fees (including all internal and external fees incurred) payable on UniSuper’s investment options:

Investment optionTotal investment fees (p.a.) Accumulation AccountsTotal investment fees (p.a.) Pension Accounts
Capital Stable0.330.20
Conservative Balanced0.380.25
Balanced0.490.36
Sustainable Balanced0.360.23
Growth0.550.42
High Growth0.590.46
Sustainable High Growth0.400.27
Cash0.200.07
Australian Bond0.220.09
Diversified Credit Income0.400.27
Listed Property0.500.37
Australian Shares0.490.36
International Shares0.510.38
Global Environmental Opportunities0.290.16
Australian Equity Income0.410.28
Global Companies in Asia0.750.62
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How to apply for UniSuper

To be eligible to open a UniSuper account, you must either work for a participating university or research body or be the partner of someone who does. You can contact UniSuper for a list of eligible organisations.

If you meet the above criteria, you can complete the application form included in the PDS for the type of account you would like to open. You’ll need to provide a few details when filling out the form, including the following:

  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your address and contact details
  • Your contributions strategy
  • The insurance cover you want

You can return your completed form to the person who is responsible for superannuation at your workplace.

Frequently asked questions about UniSuper

No, UniSuper does not charge any entry or exit fees.

No, UniSuper does not invest in tobacco.

UniSuper offers the first switch per account each financial year free of charge. Subsequent switches attract a fee of $13.80.

Yes, you can take advantage of tailored financial advice through the provider’s financial advice business, UniSuper Advice.

New members under 70 years of age will automatically receive one unit of death and TPD cover, while new members aged 70 to 74 will receive one unit of death-only cover.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JohnAugust 16, 2017

    Can you please advise:

    1) how the new rules from the 1st July apply to the defined benefit fund and the 13% contribution combined with the 3% member contribution applies to a salary of $160,000 = $25,600 (if the member salary sacrifice their 3% this is all concessional; contributions.

    2) how does UniSuper calculate the nominal contribution ?

    • Staff
      ArnoldAugust 16, 2017Staff

      Hi,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      The new super rules represent the most significant changes for our members in several years and also impact UniSuper’s systems and processes.

      Given the extent and significance of these changes, UniSuper has formed a Federal Budget Changes project, which will deliver the system and process changes required for compliance with the new legislation. It will also provide change support and training for impacted teams.

      Read more about these changes.

      To know more about how contributions are calculated please check out UniSuper’sContribution planner.

      Please check out this page for other calculators and tools.

      Hope this information helped.

      Cheers,
      Arnold

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