On this page you’ll find information about the impact of COVID-19 on your super, early access to superannuation as part of the Government’s response to the Coronavirus, and the services we provide to help you.
We’re here to support you with the information you need to understand what is happening and what it means for you and your super.
If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, get in touch using the email link at the bottom of this page or call us on 1800 000 086.
We’re committed to keeping you informed. We’re receiving more calls than usual, so you might have to wait before getting through to us. Thanks for your patience and understanding.
COVID-19 is causing investment market volatility and that’s impacting all superannuation funds - ANZ Staff Super included.
The volatility we’re seeing in recent weeks is a direct result of the significant disruption the global spread of COVID-19 is having on businesses around the world. On 11 March the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and recent weeks have seen dramatic and rapid share market movements, mainly driven by uncertainty.
Sharemarkets react quickly to the general market mood and investor sentiment. This is partly because shares can be bought and sold quite quickly. As the impact of COVID-19 continues to unfold at a rapid rate we can expect to see further movements up or down as sharemarkets respond to new information and changes in investor sentiment.
With COVID-19 constantly in the news headlines and disrupting our day to day lives in so many ways, it’s difficult not to get nervous about the impact this might have on your financial situation, including your super. At times like this it’s important to look at the bigger picture.
Share markets move up and down constantly, sometimes with small and steady rises or falls, and sometimes with more dramatic changes. The last time we saw a dramatic fall was the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Eventually markets recovered from the GFC, as we saw demonstrated in the 10 years to 2019.
While no-one can predict exactly when the market will recover from the impact of COVID-19, historically markets move in cycles with recovery and growth following a decline.
As the following graph shows, growth investments such as shares have been affected by some very volatile periods but have generally provided a higher rate of return over the long term than more defensive investments such as fixed interest and cash.
Source: Thomson Reuters Eikon and WTW
Superannuation is designed to be a long-term investment. It is returns over the long term that count.
Short term, you will see an impact. If you check your current account balance today you will most likely see it has dropped in value since the beginning of the year – the extent of that drop will depend on your choice of investment option(s), that is whether you are invested in Aggressive Growth, Balanced Growth, Cautious or Cash.
As unsettling as that can be, keep in mind that you don’t actually lock in that loss unless you change investment options or withdraw your super now.
There can be risks in moving your money into a more conservative investment option now. The main danger is that you could miss out on the upswing when markets recover. Longer term this could have a greater impact on your superannuation balance than staying the course with your current option.
No one can control the markets, but you can shape your own reactions and decide what to do with your money – or, more importantly, what not to do.
One very reasonable response is to take no action at all.
If you are investing for the longer term (5 years or more) then sticking with your current investment option and riding out short-term volatility may be your best course of action.
If you are planning to retire in the next 5 years and want to review your investment strategy, you can get in touch with us and get advice from an ANZ Staff Super financial adviser*. Remember even if you are retiring soon, you’ll still need to invest your money through your retirement which could extend for many years.
If you’re already retired and a Retirement Section member with an ANZ Staff Super pension, you can get in touch if you’d like help to understand your options and work out the right strategy for you.
Whatever your situation, we’re here to help.
How we invest is designed to provide protection in exactly these kinds of situations.
Our portfolios are designed to produce long-term returns that support our members in meeting their retirement goals. While doing so requires taking a level of investment risk, we are always mindful of how significant short-term volatility can impact member outcomes, particularly for members who have retired or are nearing retirement.
For that reason we have a strong focus on managing downside risks when we build our investment options. This doesn’t mean that our portfolios are immune to the impacts of the recent falls in sharemarkets, but it does mean that the fall in value in our Balanced Growth option’s unit price has been much smaller than that of shares.
The primary way that we protect our members’ money is by diversifying the investments in our investment options across countries, asset classes and investment managers. Diversification spreads risks and avoids our members being exposed by having a concentration of risks in any one area. In this way diversification provides some cushioning against the full impact of sharemarket falls.
While diversification provides some downside protection in most market conditions, we also know that significant market downturns, like the one we are experiencing due to the financial and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, can result in a range of investments falling at the same time. To counter this, we also hold investments designed to provide downside protection when there is a significant market event.
Within the Balanced Growth option this includes allocations to cash and bonds, as well as sizeable exposures to assets held in foreign currencies. During periods of economic crisis, bonds typically rise in value as interest rates fall, while the Australian dollar typically falls in value resulting in assets held in foreign currency increasing in value. The sharp falls in the Australian dollar (AUD) since the start of the year have provided a level of protection for our portfolios, with the exception of the Cash option which is fully invested in AUD.
We’re also aware that market downturns like the one we are currently experiencing due to COVID-19 can provide opportunities, particularly when it comes to acquiring quality assets at low prices. Our strategic, long term approach to investing means we are continually evaluating how to take advantage of those opportunities without taking undue risk.
The Government has announced changes to the rules about accessing superannuation.
The Government will allow people in financial stress to access up to $10,000 from their superannuation this financial year (2019/20) from mid-April 2020 and up to $10,000 in the next financial year (2020/21).
To apply for early release you must meet the Government requirements set out here. If you are eligible you will need to apply directly to the Australian Tax Office.
Superannuation is designed to be a long-term investment. Choosing to access your super early should be an informed decision and take into account your personal and financial circumstances.
For more information, read these FAQs
There will be a be a temporary 50% reduction in superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions in 2019/20 and 2020/21.
If you’re unsure about how best to change your pension payments to suit your changing needs we can help. ANZ Staff Super’s financial advisers* can provide you with general or limited personal financial advice about your options in ANZ Staff Super over the phone for no extra charge
Any requests for a minimum pension payment amount received after 25 March 2020, will be processed at the reduced minimum rate. If you would like to reduce your current pension drawdown rate you can either:
1. Request the minimum pension payment amount through your ANZ Staff Super online account.
2. Download and complete the Vary your pension payment form. Return the completed form and associated documents to: ANZ Staff Super, GPO Box 4303, Melbourne, VIC 3001
ANZ Staff Super has a business continuity plan and measures in place to ensure we can continue to operate effectively for our members with minimal disruption should COVID-19 escalate.
Our number one priority is you, our members and protecting your best interests.
We know you, because we are ANZ employees too. We’ll keep managing your super effectively on your behalf, because that’s what we’re here for and that’s what we do.
Call us on 1800 000 086
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
In preparing this content, the Trustee has not taken into account your investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs. Before acting on any advice in this content, you should consider whether the advice is appropriate for you in light of your financial circumstances. You may also wish to contact your financial adviser. This content and interests in the ANZ Australian Staff Superannuation Scheme (“ANZ Staff Super”) are issued by ANZ Staff Superannuation (Australia) Pty Limited, the Trustee of ANZ Staff Super. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before making a decision in relation to a financial product.
Issued by ANZ Staff Superannuation (Australia) Pty Limited ABN 92 006 664 AFSL 238268 RSEL L0000543 as Trustee for the ANZ Australian Staff Superannuation Scheme ABN 83 810 127 567. March 2020.
* ANZ Staff Superannuation (Australia) Pty Limited, the Trustee of the Scheme, has entered into an agreement with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) under which ANZ’s financial advisers have been engaged to provide Scheme members with general or limited personal financial advice about options available within the Scheme over the phone for no extra charge. If you require more complex personal advice, you’ll be given the option of receiving comprehensive personal advice from an ANZ financial adviser and ANZ will charge you a fee for this advice. These financial planning services are provided by ANZ’s financial advisers under AFSL 234527. Any advice provided by ANZ’s financial advisers is not provided or endorsed by the Trustee and is not provided under the Trustee’s AFSL.