As of September 14th, 2020, First State Super rebranded to Aware Super. This rebrand also included the amalgamation of StatePlus.
Don't Do It!
I have been with FSS for over 5 years. In that time I became a single mother and my income dropped to nothing, my account becoming inactive meant that the ATO claimed the funds eventually closing the account.
I recently applied for the early release of my super due to the covid 19 situation and the financial hardship that followed. Because I'd been with the fund for so long I reopened a new account with them to process my claim for early super release. I instructed the ATO to send the funds to my new account number and applied for the super ...release with the same details. FSS closed my new account before the super reached it and I opened another one as soon as I noticed. Finally the funds arrived in my account so I waited for my early release to come through eventually emailing them only to be told they rejected the ATO's decision because the account had been closed. They advised me to reapply for the release with the new details through the ATO which I'm not permitted to do as I can't apply more than once in 12 months. FSS have made this a lengthy and inconvenient process for a struggling single parent with no compassion or admittance of fault by them. They are prepared to bend the rules to accept my money from the ATO but not bend that same rule to release the money to me. I will never deal with them again.
I called circa 21 April to discuss my options on a super matter.
I was booked with one advisor named [name removed] from Gymea office for 5 May with email confirming the same.
Two days later I received an email changing the appt to 28 April with [name removed] from the Wollongong office. No call if I preferred that.
A day later I received a call asking if I wanted an appointment have an advisor that day from the Chatswood. Hell I hadn't even completed the financial report. I explained the 3 different appointments and told them to stop changin...
I'm outa here ASAP
Long story short. I contacted State Plus to ask what I thought was a simple question, seven business days later I received a reply that my 10 year old granddaughter could have penned and SPELT better. The reply did not address my question fully, I then contacted the call centre staff and that's when the problems really started. I then asked to speak to the Practice Manager who did call me. She was very polite etc ,unlike the other staff member. She listened to my problem and then rang back to inform me that yes ,they could get around the issue...after her consulting the Compliance Section. I then received in the mail documents for my wife to sign with the original caveats, which was exactly what the manager informed me was not going to happen. I again rang the call centre staff and another office staff member who informed me that what her manager told me I could do was not correct. I then asked to speak to my planner ( not for financial advice ) but maybe he could help. I was told because I have opted out of advice ,he was not obliged to take my call. Here we have managers advising customers what can be done only for office staff to be advise that the manager is wrong. I'm not complaining about the funds performance. Rude , arrogant staff, maybe they came from First State Super who also get a great score of 1.5 out of 5. I'm outa here ASAP. Also they charged me for advice that my wife and I did not receive, we did get a refund ,only after I complained. I would not advise anyone to join State Plus.
If you want to make a complaint you can’t make it as part of the call you have made for service support or assistance. A separate email needs to be sent. First state super then respond I cryptic emails that don’t help or address you’re circumstances. When you call to seek further advice staff refer you back to the email that is not clear. If I was to make an educated this happens because staff do not understand what has been sent out themselves. I would not recommend this super fund to any one based off service.
Happy with there performance
I opened a first state super account approx 10 years ago when i was unable to salary sacrifice to my SASS account .
After reading some of the reviews on this site about low returns and high fees i got my last 3 annual statements out 2016/2017 in growth fund the yearly fees $95.00..investment earnings aprox 12.3%........2017/2018 in growth fund yearly fees $109.00 rate of return 10.1%..............2018/2019 in growth fund fees $121.61 return 7.8% this is an average of over 10% P/A...so as far as the insurance side of things fortunately i have never needed to claim but as far as the fees and returns and the customer phone service which again i have only used 2 or 3 times i am happy with there performance.......
- Verified customer
Fee for no service scandal
This is a company that has compensated its clients to the tune of close to $100 million for charging clients an ongoing advice fee of 0.75% that many clients are not even aware that they are paying a fee for.
Advisors are also remunerated based on how much money they bring in to the firm by way of recommending contributions to a StatePlus super fund.
Bunch of thieves. Stay away.
Warning: you need to know this
I have FSS, including life insurance and terminal illness benefit.
You must have an enduring power of attorney (EPA) in place to claim terminal illness benefit. If you have no EPA in place and cannot communicate or fill in a form, they will not allow you to claim.
I was in a coma with terminal heart failure documented by the surgeon. I was therefore unable to speak to request the forms, or access the website and print them off. I miraculously survived, but now need a heart transplant and can’t work. My wife and the hospital social worker trie...d to speak with FSS (and my retail fund) but they refused to answer even very general/ hypothetical questions of “what if”. Now I can’t work until 6-12 months post transplant. The terminal illness benefit would have cleared our debts and helped greatly. Interestingly enough, my contact at FSS doesn’t have an EPA either, even though she works in the very industry that has this discriminatory practice. Update: my contact at FSS Super believes that there “needs to be some compassion” in cases like mine. The phone call was recorded by FSS. I don’t blame the poor frontline staff at FSS. They aren’t making the decisions about this, and have been very pleasant and professional. This case will end up going to the Board of Trustee’s (we’ll see if they have any compassion or empathy, as their frontline staff obviously do) and, potentially, the AFCA Ombudsman. Please be aware of this so you don’t fall down the same loophole. I’ve been interviewed about my whole experience with terminal illness, both in an online HR publication and a national radio broadcast. Now my union is interested in raising awareness of this loophole. Even if FSS are not shamed into action in my case, I can still raise awareness.
TPD and Customer service
I've been with them for 16 years. I see they have no problem deducting their fees, but submit a TPD claim and try following up. Good luck!! I've been nothing but nice and screwed around from the start. They never answer the phone or reply to email. Promise to update and never call back. Not once.
I was going to say that maybe you have to actually die for something to happen, but i read a previous review and even that seems unlikely.
On a positive note, they are polite but it's at the stage where being nice is pointless.
I'm just going to ring them 10 times a day until they are as annoyed as me.
I hope they don't expect my business following this matter. FSS are no better than their bottom dwelling insurer.
Non existent support in progressing an insurance claim.
My Lawyer first submitted an insurance claim to First State Super nearly 18 months ago. I understand that TAL (the insurer) will do virtually anything to delay, deny and dispute claims but First State Super provided no support at all and made no effort to progress the claim, which is still stalled. First State Super don't help, support or advocate for their members through this process at all. I don't know if other superannuation companies are any better but they couldn't be any worse. If you have insurance products with First State Super and you are in the unfortunate experience where you need to claim, you can expect similar treatment. This is why I changed my superannuation. I would advise you do the same.
Worse returns than the All Ords Index
Compared my super performance with the All Ords and it consistently does worse! What's the point of paying fees if their advisors can't even beat the All Ords Index!?
Their online platform is a whole other issue. In this digital age it is extrutiatingly painful to fill out forms for what should be self service.
State Super has boosted its fee income by linking products to overpriced and pretty lame financial advice services. I have been charged for financial advice services not provided on many occasions. State Super self disclosed fees for no service to avoid royal commission scrutiny. Getting my money back has been a draining experience. As soon as I have my money I will join an industry fund - avoid this fund- they are a bad smell from the eighties.
Poor Customer Service.
It has been almost two weeks since I have requested to merge two of my accounts and I am still waiting to hear from First State Super to complete my request. I can imagine what will be kind of customer service I can expect when it can be something more serious. Luckily, It has not been long for me since my employers started my account & I think it is time I look for super with better service. I am sure they would look into my open request to investigate further, FYI it is ticket No: 157049.
Ok but you could do better.....
I was a commonwealth employee for 34 years under the comsuper scheme. State super financial services, now State plus are contracted to look after the financial advice etc for comsuper.
Now as a private super fund things are a bit different. I have never kept a financial advisor for more than one appointment, they just disappear and I have found out at a much later date. I really cant keep up it it really annoys me.
Personally I kept asking myself, are they trying to steer me in a direction that maximises their profit and not mine? Never con...vinced my self either way but I always feel uneasy about how advice is tilted. The advice I got was ok but I did a lot of research and virtually had to argue what I wanted/needed, this is not the way to do business. I think I can do better so it will be bon voyage to them soon
Very Poor Treatment of Reversionary Beneficiary
My Spouse opened an Allocated Pension Fund on his retirement in 2012 and nominated me as his Reversionary Beneficiary. While he was alive we were quite satisfied with the fund. I expected that the transfer would be automatic but since his death in July 2019 I have been treated with contempt by this Company. Firstly they told me that there was no Nomination on the Fund although they had been listing me on the Centrelink Statement each year. When I challenged this they ignored me until I hired a Solicitor to write to them. They only responded to ...her after two more requests for response. Having finally admitted I was the rightful beneficiary they gave a phone number for me to ring and set up an appointment to complete the transfer. I was told they were "very busy"and it would be some time before I could get an appointment but the Manager would call me back the next day. No call has eventuated. I would not recommend them to anyone.
Disability Insurance shameful time frames
Please people be aware that when you really need your insurance you will be in for a long wait, I am 14 months in and still no decision. Documents sent to wrong insurers, requests not actioned with myself having to call weekly to make sure the claim is progressing, 3 weeks to send a document from one insurer to another insurer. I have a lawyer but hasn't made a bit of difference. Im now facing eviction from my home because I can't pay my mortgage. No regulatory body to look at how fund handles claim until a decision is made seems wrong to me. Please if anyone else is in same position please email me. This is not fair and certainly not ethical.
Highway robbery, they will steal all your money until there is nothing left
I have been with this fund for 3 years and they continually charge fees until there is nothing left in my account. They are poorly investing money also as it has made little returns. I cancelled the un needed insurance and they started it back up again just because they could. Stay away and switch funds as soon as you can.
Income stream balance heading in the right direction!
I've been in the income stream phase of my super since 2014. I have always taken the minimum amount out each month and although the sharemarket has had some instability over this time I note that I now have more money in my account now than when I first entered retirement. This was certainly not my expectation. I'm happy with their performance.
They poorly invest my money and still charge.
Very unhappy with performance to date. Paid all year only to be in the red at end of year. Very poor investment choices and NO accountability . Customer service very lackluster with the attitude of we have your money so too bad! Literally would have been better off putting my money under my mattress
I have recently been reading the on line State Plus reviews and have been shocked by the negative tone of some reviewers as this is totally at odds with my own experience.
I have been a client of State Plus at Gosford for a long time and for the last few years my advisor has been Bradley. He has done a wonderful job in guiding me through retirement at aged 60 then returning to work part time and his financial advice has proven to be very sound.
I have a Flexible Income Plan with State Plus. I draw out 4% each month as a pension payment ...and I have also made several one off lump sum withdrawals for home renovations etc. from the account and my balance has stayed pretty healthy. I could not be happier! My account was originally being debited a small amount each month for financial advice and I was meeting up fairly regularly with Bradley after my retirement but as everything was running so smoothly, I decided to forgo the one on one meetings with Bradley to save on fees. As a result my account is no longer being debited for financial planning fees. I can still make an appointment to see Bradley if the need so arises in the future and I would be charged a one off fee for this at the time. My advice to anyone reading the reviews is to bear in mind that lots of clients with positive reviews of State Plus may not post them on line.
Poor returns, high fees on allocated pensions
I had an allocated pension with StatePlus for 10 years. I'm sorry I didn't do more research on the performance of super-funds before I joined, but I was sort of hurried into it by a previous employer when I resigned from full-time work. The Royal Commission last year into financial services got me motivated. I discovered this fund does not perform wonderfully, probably in an average range and its investment fees are higher than many other funds.
I have now switched to another industry fund that has better performance (and I did look at this ove...
Questions & Answers
I have a conservative growth strategy. Why have I lost over $7,000 in 15 days from my super?
The stock market does not reflect these losses and things are improving after COVID, yet I am losing money by the thousands.
Why are your investment strategies so poor? Or please advise why ‘conservative growth’ fund members are losing so much money?
I do not wish to change this investment option as it is meant to be safest and low risk so why the poor performance?
Not at all happy!
Aware SuperAware Super
Thank you for your question.
Fluctuating returns are a normal part of the investment cycle. We have an investments team who are actively managing the allocation of risk in the fund to manage market volatility. At Aware Super, we remain focused on the long-term performance of your portfolio. There are three main ways we manage exposure to markets over time. These are diversification, active asset allocation and managing foreign currency exposure.
You can read more about our approach to investments on our website here: www.aware.com.au/member/investments-and-performance/how-we-manage-your-investment/investment-approach
If you have any other questions or would like to discuss your investment option with us further, we would love to hear from you. Please call us on 1300 650 873 or send us an email to email@example.com
How to get payment code?
Aware SuperAware Super
Thanks for your message.
If you require any information that relates to your Aware Super account, please feel free to contact our Service Centre on 1300 650 873 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more assistance.
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What is the interest paid frequency - annually, monthly, quartetly?
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