As of September 14th, 2020, First State Super rebranded to Aware Super. This rebrand also included the amalgamation of StatePlus.
I have been a member of this Super Fund for many years. Recently separated, under Court Orders (wording which was approved by Aware) husband needed to split some funds from his account with Aware (formally StatsPlus) to my account with Aware. After many phone calls and a letter no progress has been made. Their solution - open up a super account with Aware (formally Stateplus) have the funds put into this account, then rollover to my account and then close the newly opened account or operate two accounts. Certainly do not support their clients.
When I joined 11 yrs ago it was called health super. Then it became first state super & now it’s aware super. That is 3 name changes in 11yrs. I think the latest name change suits this fund best.
Be “aware” everyone.
I would imagine they have spent enormous amounts of members money on these name changes.
They cannot escape the reviews by changing names. There are numerous reasons I left the fund. Some of those reasons are already covered in other peoples reviews, so I won’t rehash them.
The last straw was their delaying tactics when I attempted to roll out of the fund. I have totally lost trust in them.
I do not recommend this fund.
- Verified customer
Very limited social responsibility
This is my super company that I pay to lose money in the stock market. But it also continuing to invest in coal to produce electricity!! and other fossil fuels. To add further insults it is proposing to increase the bonus for CBA management despite the share price tanking, fines being paid to the regulator and lying and cheating customers as shown in the Royal Commission.
AwareSuper considers that by following Government orders to follow the law the Chief Executive of CBA is worth an increase in salary of $1million and bonus of $8.4.
Meanwhile my super has reduced.
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.
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
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...
Limited Investment options
I have two super accounts because different funds offer different investment options. First State had a good performing property choice. My other fund has an excellent infrastructure choice but not a good performing property one. I wanted to combine the two but First State does not have a dedicated infrastructure choice. In fact their individual choice of investments are quite limited compared to other funds. Not only that, they only allow one free change of investments a financial year, after which changes incur a $50 fee. They have not kept u...p with the times. My other fund allows a change of investments once a month free. However I have now found a fund that not only allows changes once per day for free, has a dedicated infrastructure fund, as well as many other choices not found elsewhere, but also allows direct investments in the ASX300 that you can trade daily. Why on earth would anyone want a DIY super fund when you have this? First State has hardly progressed since last century. I'm not unhappy with them in any other way, and they transferred my money very quickly, you just have to transfer via your new fund, done automatically. But a lack of investment choices and penalizing you for doing so more than once a year....ah...see yah!!
- Verified customer
Poor performance 2018
Disappointing results on the growth fund June - Dec 2018 resulting in about 4% loss + inflation rate of near 2%... surely no CEO xmas bonuses went out this year. I've been with FSS, my employer default fund for 12 years and salary sacrificing for the past 5 years. With these results I think I should consider other options.
Lack on contact, bad returns, fees for no service
My husband and I have been with StatePlus since 2014. Our financial adviser left and we were not told by Canberra Office. This office used to be responsive but since the move to Nishi it is very difficult to get anything out of them, let alone a return phone call. Both my husband and I have left messages for contact with no results. We are both considering moving our money out of this fund to a more customer-focussed fund that has better returns and lower fees.
I was with this super fund for nearly 30 years and came out of it recently with less than impressive funds. I have since rolled the sum into another fund associated with a new job so hopefully things might build. You expect ups and downs with the markets etc but you rely on the fund manager (with experienced finance people) to make the appropriate investment choices and changes continuously over time for the strategy they have recommended for your age etc. One of the most frustrating and I think wrong actions is when superfunds automatically ta...ke out unwanted insurance premiums. I understand there are compulsory clauses and government legislation re insurance but it is when the information details are hidden in the plans or when starting a new job that you may have the option to opt out. It is often not clear and can be very confusing. And even though I was aware of these issues and looked out for them I still got caught out with all the superfunds I have been with taking out insurance i did not need or require. It then takes letters and phones calls to claim a refund. Opting in to non-compulsory insurance should be the default option, not expecting the client to opt out. First State have been helpful on various occasions when I needed assistance. The member account login service is also quite good.
SSFS to Stateplus
I have ben drawing an allocated pension from SSFS/Stateplus since 2007. Since the change I find that the returns are poorer and the fees are fairly high. 1.4% on their balanced fund. Higher returns mask high fees and perhaps justify the fees if the higher returns can be maintained.
Looking at my situation I draw an allocated pension of about $1900/month and on my balance of about $440000 attract fees in the order $6000/ annum or $513/month. Therefore it is costing me $500/month to pay me $1900/month with my own money. Good value for money? I...think not. As I am drawing a part CSS pension I am effected by the Jan 2015 changes on how Super balances are treated for assessment to the aged pension. If you were receiving an allocated pension prior to the 1 Jan 2015 deadline your balance was grandfathered and the previous conditions prevailed for assessment regarding the aged pension. However if you wanted to change your Super fund and changed providers the post Jan 1 2015 regime would apply to your roll over balance regarding the calculation of the part aged pension This has the effect of trapping you in your fund otherwise you will be assessed under the new ruleswhich in my case meant losing most of the part aged pension. This of course is not the fault of Stateplus but I cannot remember my financial adviser warning me of the implications of these changes which should have been part of their duty to put the financial interests of the client first. Clearly this did not happen in this case
Back office fails
We have had a string of problems all related to the back office. Alas it seems that the Canberra Office has little connection with its customers. This is most recently highlighted by the move to the Nishi Building. Who in their right mind would move a business that is suposed to be focuessed around client needs to a location where the parking is limited? The web site suggests 1.3km from bus interchange. Have the forgotten the large number of retired clients? Time to move on.
My wife and I have been with State Superannuation/State Plus in Canberra for nearly 12 years since 2005. Over this time and due to a high turnover of staff, we have been bounced from one Financial Planner to another, which has not allowed for consistency in advice on our investments, especially during the period of the GFC. When we have been able to finally find professional and committed Financial Planners that understand our needs, they ended up leaving the Canberra Office due to apparent management issues.
After only 18 months ago final...ly deciding to move our accounts to the well managed and high performing Woden Office of State Plus (where we finally found an excellent and professional Financial Planner), the Canberra Regional Manager without any consultation with clients, in December wrote to us advising us of ce us of the closure of the Woden Office and telling us we must again use the most inconvenient Canberra Office we had only recently left. As a consequence of the Woden Office closure in December, most of the staff from that office have since left State Plus, including once again our Financial Planner of only 18 months, causing us a great deal of inconvenience, anger and stress. Due to my past concerns falling on deaf ears, it appears State Plus HQ don't care about the problems in Canberra and the impact they have on their staff and in particular the Canberra regional clients. If it wasn't for the excellent service of few a individual and now departed Financial Planners, and our late stage in life, we would have left the company long ago. We are now seriously considering that option.
Check out the figures - if you can
With my wife having some money in HESTA and a lot of money with StatePlus it appeared to me that StatePlus's performance appeared lacking, so I decided to do a comparison. This was an eye opener!
Whilst the staff at StatePlus seem friendly and helpful enough, their website appears to be designed to confuse and make it VERY difficult to compare their organisations returns with others in the market place; I cannot even find any long-term performance results - surely their funds didn't all just magically appear about three years ago!
Anyway,...after muddling through their information it would appear that, with a very similar asset class mix, my wife can get at least a 50%, and possibly 100%, better return with other leading (industry) funds. This would mean many, many thousands of dollars additional growth in our nest egg each year
- Verified customer
Not happy - locked out of account
These days having online access to your super account to monitor the balance and to make changes to your investment strategy, etc. is a pretty basic requirement for any Super fund, wouldn't you agree? And yet I once again find myself unable to so much as view my balance due to "access restrictions" that have been placed "on some customer's accounts" due to "data integrity problems." I have no idea what this means but when I call First State Super and ask them to give me an ETA for when this will be fixed I am told they can't give me a timefram...e at all. When I submit a formal complaint online they reply with a generic email saying it may take up to 3 months to investigate my complaint. I asked the telephone customer service rep if they could at least find out if it would likely to be days, weeks or months before I can access my balance and investment switch facility through my online account again and they contacted the relevant department which couldn't even answer that question (although they said it "probably won't be months" and will "probably be lifted when all the member statement summaries have finished printing.") I feel this is an unacceptable level of service for me so I am voting with my feet. Today I opened an account with a different super fund and asked my employer to direct future super contributions to that fund instead of to First State Super (which is my employer's default fund.) I told the First State Super customer service rep what I am intending to do and they said I have to keep my account open with at least $1500 in it because I have a special insurance policy through my employer and First State Super, and that I have to keep a minimum of $1500 in the account to keep it open. This is only a very small fraction of my balance of course and is neither here nor there to me. The rep was sweetly spoken enough and didn't seem too concerned about me following through with transferring the rest of my six figure balance to another fund. She offered to email me a form to apply to transfer my balance out to another fund although she had earlier refused to send me an email regarding my initial query on the grounds that "we are not an outbound call centre and we can't send emails." This made me feel like I was being fobbed off initially and either I am too much trouble to bother with for a relatively small fish or that the rep didn't really believe I would follow through with leaving the fund. Despite the marketing slogan to the contrary due to the poor state of affairs outlined above I feel that First State Super does not really care about me as a customer. If they genuinely cared about the ongoing inconvenience of not having access to my account balance or investment switch they would respond to my request for an ETA for when my online account will work properly again and would be trying to resolve this issue ASAP rather than saying "we have no idea how long it is likely to take before you can even check your balance online again." First State Super had similar issues with my account last year that dragged on for months and I ended up staying with them despite threatening to leave. No more. I finally felt I had to follow through on my threat to leave. After all, if it is this hard to simply get online access back to my balance or even to get the requested info on a very rough timeframe on when I may be able to get online access to my balance again... then imagine the difficulties I might have if I actually wanted to withdraw any of my money when I retire for example? I am leaving because I want the people managing my retirement savings to take my concerns seriously and to treat me as a valuable customer and not as just a number or as a "captive customer" because of the hassle of switching and having to keep the account open for the insurance.
Nonsensical transfer rules
Tried to merge defined benefit fund with associated accumulation fund. Both funds have the same name, same TFN, same address, same DOB, in fact they send both statements in one envelope. Transfer was denied because the prove of identity document had a preceding preferred name, the rest of name is similar. Lost valuable time and money as was OS for lengthy holiday, transfer was timed to market condition. Cannot understand this pedantic and illogical non action. Can some body explain? Now considering rolling over to another fund given the mediocre performance over time.
What a strange incompetent bunch!
I fill out all the paper work again and again. I get everything certified that they ask for and yet I still can't roll over all my money in to first super. Somehow everything gets lost and if it’s been four weeks they close the application and I’m back to square one. I shouldn’t be annoyed because I can just go on to the website and do it all online. Its only my hard earned that they are wasting. So now at work, I advise all other employee’s to steer clear of first super and if I see a first super poster at work I quickly take it down.
Cash return for the 12 months to 31/12/10 was 4.0%
If you set up your own super an d put your money in a term deposit you would have received at least 5%. "High Growth" fund also returned just 2.2% for the 12 months to 2010, though many investment valuations largely recovered much ground in 2010 (the 3 year average return for this fund is minus -3.6%). 10 Year average return for any fund is less than 5.5% , so probably better off in a term deposit over this same period.
None that I could identify. Takes paperwork out of managing your own fund perhaps.
Returns in line or below the cash rate returns over similar periods.
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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