With COVID-19 spreading rapidly in the US and Latin America and with secondary flare-ups occurring locally, we are still experiencing upheaval across global economies.
Here’s a quick update about the issues affecting your super and what we are doing to help you navigate these turbulent times.
The June quarter saw a strong rebound in markets following a sharp selloff in the March quarter.
This was fuelled by both monetary and fiscal stimulus as central banks and governments around the world moved to support economic activity.
This has increased confidence and has helped stabilise economic activity and financial markets.
For the twelve months to 30 June 2020, our My AutoSuper (Balanced) investment option posted a return of -0.94% p.a. and our Pension Balanced investment option posted a return of -1.18% p.a.+
Pleasingly, SuperRatings has our My AutoSuper (Balanced) option earning risk-adjusted returns of 8.0%* over 7 years, putting us in the top ten for Australian funds in this category.
This means that despite the short-term performance impacts, we have been able to deliver strong long-term returns within an acceptable level of risk, which is vitally important during times of extended market volatility.
Domestically, the economy remains weak and is now in recession. Interest rates are at historic lows of 0.25%, with the Reserve Bank of Australia taking measures to stimulate spending and investing.
Despite government intervention via economic assistance packages, the economy remains fragile. Borders are closed, unemployment has trended higher and some industries and geographies are suffering due to a lack of trade activity.
Until a COVID-19 vaccine is successfully created, the chance of heightened market volatility and possible negative returns will persist.
As such, we take a cautious view of markets over the next 12 months.
Early Release of Super Scheme extended until 31 December 2020
The Government has extended the application period for the COVID-19 Early Release of Super Scheme to 31 December 2020. For more information go to ato.gov.au.
We have also recently released some information for individuals concerned about the tax implications of their Early Release payments if they go back to work full time. For details, see our latest Early Release update.
Changes to JobKeeper Payment scheme
On 21 July, the Government announced it is extending the JobKeeper Payment until 28 March 2021.
From 28 September 2020, eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment will be based on actual turnover in the relevant periods, and the payment will be stepped down and paid at two rates. For more details go to treasury.gov.au
Support for you and your super
Despite being constrained by social distancing requirements, we continue to provide you with the service and advice you need.
If you are worried about your super, please get in touch with one of our Super Advisers. They can give you expert guidance and advice about all aspects of your super. Best of all, it comes at no additional cost to you.
We are also hosting regular online webinars to discuss issues affecting your super. This includes topics such as market performance, investment options, and insurance. A full schedule is available at mtaasuper.com.au/webinars.
MTAA Super and Tasplan merger update
We are on track for our exciting merger with Tasplan on 1 April 2021.
While we have worked hard to minimise the impact of the merger process on accounts, there will be some changes required as we consolidate systems and processes. These will include members receiving a new member number and BPAY code to make personal contributions. You will also need to re-register to access your accounts online. As these changes happen, we will keep you up to date with details. For more information about the merger, go to mtaasuper.com.au/news
While we are seeing some positive signs in markets and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in some jurisdictions, we still have a long way to go for an economic recovery.
The impacts of COVID-19 on businesses, households and the broader economy will last well beyond the immediate fallout of the pandemic. And the threat of secondary breakouts, such as those that have reintroduced lockdowns in Melbourne, shows that the road back may not be smooth.
Our thoughts and support go out to all our Victorian members and employers who now face another stint of restrictions. We know these are challenging times.
We encourage all our members to stay safe, follow the government’s social distancing guidelines, and most importantly, continue to support one another.