As of September 14th, 2020, First State Super rebranded to Aware Super. This rebrand also included the amalgamation of StatePlus.
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.......
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...
An incredibly stressful experience
I was with FSS for many years (approx. 15), paying also for Income Protection for over 10 years. I placed a claim as I had unfortunately fallen ill only to find that FSS refused to pay, leaving me struggling for the 2 years I was entitled for payment. They showed no concern that I was in hardship and had to use my super early to survive - leaving me now with no super.
It was a dreadful time as I was not only refused payment but also made to wait approximately 18 months whilst TAL and Metlife passed the claim from one to the other to assess. This experience was totally unexpected and extremely stressful.
Choose a better performing fund
Been with this mob since 2012. I recently moved to a better performing industry fund.
Handy hint. Ask your new fund to move your money across. Don't talk to State Plus.
I have been taking the minimum 4% allocated pension, but in recent years my lump sum has been shrinking. It should have been growing.
So the gross return has been less than 4% plus the 1.6% fees. Meanwhile the median return of all super funds has been around 6.5%.
I was sent a list of the 10 worst performing funds in 2017-18. State Plus was on it.
On top of that I have had a different adviser every year when my annual review came up and this year they forgot to remind me the review was due. I found half my fees are for 'advice'.
July 2018-Dec 2018 = $90 profit.
What a poor performing Super Fund between June-Dec 2018. Thousands were contributed and made only $90 in 6 months. FSS is a joke and has not been performing well in recent times. I have no confidence in them anymore. They are losing MY money. Time to switch.
Unable to transfer funds to my super fund for many months now .
Extremely difficult to transfer my existing funds from first state super to my SMSF. Now trying for many months
They don’t seem to have any interest about the customers . They are following a complicated process that makes difficult for any existing customer to close their account. Not willing to explain any information they are requesting but keep on sending the same email . Customer representative who answers the phone calls don’t seem to have any understanding of the specific subject matter ,no point calling them . So I have to say one has to be very careful before opening an account with them ( which is extreme easy and supportive ) because the exit is nearly impossible
Retirement Assistance sadly lacking
Went into a FSS 'walk in office' to get advice on our imminent retirement. We were told they could not help us. They wanted to slough us off to their privately contracted financial advice service and charge us $2,000 per person approximately to provide retirement assistance. All we received were brick walls to our questions. We left with nothing but a brochure on retirement income streams. Thanks for nothing FSS. At the very least a superannuation company should provide free assistance to convert an accumulation fund to a pension fund. They provided us with absolutely no assistance. Shame on you!!!
I have been with this fund since retiring 10 years ago, initially in the Balanced portfolio but for the last 3 years I accepted the risk and switched to the more aggressive High Growth.
Despite drawing a regular income, I still have almost all of my initial capital in the fund. An excellent result! I could not have achieved this making my own investment decisions. The balance has fluctuated and become “scary” at times but trusting in First State has paid off.
Fees are reasonable and member’s on line access is excellent.
Any direct dealings have been trouble free. I make a point of providing exactly what is required (i.e. dot the I’s and cross the T’s) and have found the service to be excellent.
Difficult to deal with, arrogant staff
Member since 1972, always difficult to deal with, i have retired and eligible to withdraw MY money but there is always a problem despite complying with rules. Latest issue is I needed cash for car repairs, completed the form they sent me and other documents expecting the money to appear. But no they wait 10 days and send me an email saying the form is too old and demanding a new form along with another bank statement and I D documents. I will now be withddrawing all my money and put it in a bank. At least it wont go backwards there. Hopeless! Make the effort and transfer to a fund that looks after its members.
First State Super is my employers choice. I am planning for retirement and sacrificing as much salary as I can. First state Super is losing it for me. My colleagues are also losing money with this fund. Time to find a better fund.
Questions & Answers
Aware super I would like to know how your advertisement on TV represent super every time I see it I think of private health insurance not meaning to offend just my observation
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Their conservative growth option has performed horrible when benchmarked against other funds. Aust Super Conservative balanced has delivered approx 8% more in returns over the past three years. IOOF has the multiseries 50 which is similar risk, this has delivered approx 9% more pa over the past three years. Aware has a very ordinary track record with investment performance. Vic Super had a much better strike rate but i understand they are not calling the shots under the new merger.
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