All Australians have the right to live well in retirement. But the current system has some way to go to achieve this and barriers exist for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
As Australia’s largest super fund1, we have a key role to play in supporting all Australians to achieve their best possible financial position in retirement. This includes advocating for changes to the current system to make it fairer for everyone.
We’re committed to addressing barriers to financial inclusion and creating opportunities for First Nations members to better understand and access their super.
Our aim is to help members from all backgrounds understand how to:
- Manage their super
- Choose the right fund and investment option for their circumstances
- Achieve their best financial position in retirement.
First Nations people and super
On average, First Nations people have lower super balances when they retire than the general population. The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with super is about 70% for men and 60% for women. That’s compared with rates of 85% for men and 80% for women for the population more generally2.
Estimated average balances are also lower compared to the Australian population as a whole. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men had an average balance of $55,743 in 2018. The figure for non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men was $110,000. For women, the respective figures are $39,909 and $63,0002.
Committed to helping address the issues
AustralianSuper’s Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is a step in the journey towards helping all Australians live well in retirement.
Our RAP outlines Fund initiatives to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members. It also aims to build relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and community service providers.
3 areas AustralianSuper is making a difference
The RAP focuses on strengthening relationships and improving our understanding of First Nations communities and the issues they face. Our actions to improve services and help these communities include:
1. Creating a dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander phone support
AustralianSuper was the first superannuation fund in Australia to provide a dedicated option for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in its Interactive Voice Response system. The option to identify as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person is available to members when calling into the contact centre. The caller can then speak to a specialist team with cultural training. This team is better equipped to understand and help with the challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
First Nations interpreting service now available
To book an interpreter, members can call 1300 300 273 and select option 2 as a current member, and then select option 2 to speak to our specialist team.
Please note our booking service requires 48 hours’ notice to source an appropriate interpreter.
How it works
- Lodge a request for an interpreter and confirm details.
- When a suitable interpreter is sourced our team will confirm the booking via phone, including appointment time and language. If no suitable interpreter can be found, we will let members know.
- A joint party phone call will be made at the agreed time.
2. Establishing Career Trackers – paid internships
Our Career Trackers program provides paid internships at the Fund to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. The students spend a few months working in teams aligned to their studies, and have the opportunity to return the following year to continue their placement.
This helps them to build experience in areas they’re passionate about.
3. Supporting the Big Super Day Out
Coordinated by the First Nations Foundation, the Big Super Day Out is an event that partners with several super funds and organisations. Its aim is to help improve superannuation outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members.
A team of experts go to remote areas of Australia to provide guidance to those who:
- may not know if they have super
- may not be getting paid the super they own
- may have lost super.
Over 3 days, team members help people in recovering their lost money and build awareness of super in general, and how to keep track of it.
In 2018 we engaged 195 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members and re-connected them with their superannuation totalling about $3.5 million. We’ve been a sponsor of 21 Big Super Day Out events that have reunited 1,600 First Nations Peoples with $24 million in lost superannuation.
Learning from our time with these communities, we’ve introduced a number of initiatives to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members in their unique challenges in engaging with their super.
- the creation of an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members
- a member identification form.
In-person events in 2020 were paused due to the impact of COVID-19. However, AustralianSuper is proud to support Indigenous Super – a support website setup in place of the live events. We look forward to meeting with people face to face again when we can.
Building awareness amongst colleagues
AustralianSuper employs over 1,000 people. Each year, we promote Reconciliation Week, NAIDOC Week, and several activities to help colleagues build and strengthen their understanding of First Nations history and cultures. More than 100 colleagues within AustralianSuper have completed a cultural competence course to better understand First Nations cultures, history and the challenges faced.
Free financial literacy courses on super and retirement planning
Our education team offers a range of free online webinars for all members and non-members. Several of these are available on demand to watch at any time. The sessions are a great way to improve your knowledge of super or retirement planning, and build confidence. Super is a large asset, and an important one to understand through your working life.
1. APRA Annual Fund Statistics as at 30 June 2021, based on assets under management and membership accounts.
2. AustralianSuper Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan, July 2021-July 2023.
This may include general financial advice which doesn’t take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision consider if the information is right for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, available at australiansuper.com/pds or by calling 1300 300 273. A Target Market Determination (TMD) is a document that outlines the target market a product has been designed for. Find the TMDs at australiansuper.com/TMD.
AustralianSuper Pty Ltd ABN 94 006 457 987, AFSL 233788, Trustee of AustralianSuper ABN 65 714 394 898.