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
Get accounting advice as well as financial advice
There are some competent Planners, but unfortunately they can only provide financial advice and not accounting advice. I was a client of State Super now Stateplus and decided to take my business to an accounting firm who also specialised in financial management. A far better result for me. When I first went to Stateplus the planners were very friendly and provided sound advice, but in 2015 when most of the planners that I had seen left, I felt it time to move on as well. It's a shame that the Canberra City office is run so poorly, since the new manager and practice manager have been employed.
What the hell is going on here?
First my adviser quits. Actually, it tuns out he quit 6 months before they bothered to tell me. Then I get another adviser, and she quits. They spend millions of dollars changing the name and the website, which barely works any more. My friend's planner, a different person entirely, has quit as well, and she is distraught. She met with the state manager, who fumbled his way around on a computer, and she basically had to EXPLAIN TO HIM how to fix her tax!!!!! While sitting in there brand new furniture and expensive equipment wasting my mone...y! I just met with my new planner, and she has no idea what she is talking about, just tried to get me to put more money in with them so they could charge more in fees! Turns out she used to work for A BANK! Every time I ring up, I end up in some call centre somewhere, where the person has no idea what I am talking about. When I FINALLY spoke to the girl in the office she was extremely rude, and just tried to get me to sign something so they could take more fees out, despite not being able to help me when I ring. She told me I had paid up for three months, but when I checked my statement it turns out she was lying, the fees come up every month, not in advance!!! Then I find out has now been sold to another fund entirely. Good luck to the new owners, but my retirement is not a commodity to be bought and sold. I was a client here for years - the service in the last year has been absolutely disgusting - you should be ashamed of yourselves taking our money, wasting it on all, hiring staff who just try to sell to me. I can see why my planner has quit now, and luckily google is available!!! I referred friends and colleagues here, but I am so upset right now with what happened to my fund, I will be leaving and never looking back. I will be telling them to do the same
Leave your money where it is
The policy of StatePlus can be summed up in 'Get their money then gouge them for fees.' The customer service and financial advice standards are appalling. StatePlus only act in their best interests, not clients. They are sneaky, deceptive and misleading. They lack honesty and integrity. If you want to turn your hard earned money into less money become one of their sucker clients. They love their fancy offices and million dollar views because they are paid for by you. They claim their fees are only up to 1.5 per cent, but do the numbers properly...and they are actually charging you 50 per cent, or more, of what your money earns. StatePlus is the next big financial scandal waiting to hit Australia. Not that they are worried as they will be long gone to the Bahamas with your money.
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Questions & Answers
Have been with StatePlus since 2014. Now have a Flexible Income Plan, and have been paying 0.75% for annual adviser meeting, as well as other fees. Last years return approx 5.4%. Like other comments on this site, am questioning the benefit of staying with this organisation, and would like to compare with other providers. My questions:
1 how to compare apples with apples ( ie like with like )
2. what are the pros and cons of withdrawing and investing with another organisation?
Was with SSFS which changed to Stateplus - Stateplus not returning anything - account on $450,00.00 is losing money - I have an allocated pension - can I change to another fund. I receive health card etc - but no centrelink pension
Yes, can definitely change providers - no exit fees from Stateplus. It would be prudent to check some of the larger funds operating such as Sun Super, Australian Super, Uni Super or the like. Basically should be aiming to lower fees and have a fund that has decent long term performance. In the current climate - for any retiree - risk management should still be key - but nonetheless can still have your money working for you. Advice should be not bias on product - that is difficult when in Stateplus your advisers are being paid by the fund itself - so if the fund is not working in your favour, they would not be advising you to change. Any more info - feel free to contact me on 04301 90009. Even a 1% difference amounts to a lot in dollar terms, problem is that the industry makes it awfully complicated to cipher through the information. Even option names are misleading, as in industry funds one balanced fund is different to another balanced fund. Main objective though for retirees, should be to have peace of mind and manage risk on their life savings - which across most funds can be done.
The other aspect is to ensure advice is separate from the product investments, this was an initiative that came out in July 2013 and as a result funds have had to change the way they charge on investments to ensure that advice related charges are separate. Hence the onslaught of re-funding clients advice related charges for no advice provided. Important to build a relationship with an adviser that delivers on service, as opposed to just charges.
Does anyone think StatePlus is a worthwhile organisation to handle their money? I think there has been much undisclosed information since the legislation changed in 2015. There appears to be a lot of unhappy clients.
For precisely the above reasons we moved to Unisuper. Eight years with State Plus cost us almost 40k in undisclosed fees.......and this was only where we could really pick up what fees were really being levied. When we really pressed them and compared more visible fees we discovered that they were very high. Consistent Market performance at the bottom end of the spectrum was also a concern. We accept that no one can be at the top indefinitely and that this years loser could be next years winner...BUT....eight years at the end of the spectrum??
StatePlus was originally State Super Financial Services and I am not convinced the change has been good for investers as their balanced fund performance last year was close to 5% after fees where as other funds were achieving over 8%. The fees are about average but not as low as some of the industry funds As a rough example I draw about $1800/month from my RO fund which costs $6000/annum or $500/month to manage and receive yearly financial advice. This seems excessive to me
I was caught by the Jan 2015 changes which grandfathered your existing arrangements but if you want to change your super provider the new arrangements come into force and part pensions can be reduced significantly. In summary I think fees charged by Superfunds is excessive for very ordinary returns and as far as I know there is no way of reducing them by say not having the financial advice which is basically 40% growth, 60% defensive and drawing your pension payment from a cash fund to avoid selling growth assets when the equity markets are down as they are now.
Thank you for your interest in StatePlus.
With more than 60,000 clients and over 25 years of experience in planning for retirement, we’ve helped thousands of Australians get the most of their superannuation schemes and achieve their desired lifestyle in retirement.
Our clients have given us a 96% satisfaction score*, one of the highest of any financial company in the world. The industry has seen enormous change in recent times. We believe in transparency with our clients and are committed to continuously reviewing and improving our processes and services.
Why not attend one of our seminars to learn more about the benefits of a good financial plan. You can sign up for a seminar near you through our website https://www.stateplus.com.au/find-a-seminar
Once again, thank you for your question. If we can be of further assistance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
*StatePlus TNS Client Service Survey RYQ2 2017 Report
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