This website contains information about the new ASGARD option, including:
Please take the time to read all of this information. Your super is an important asset. Before making any decisions regarding your super, we recommend that you carefully consider your individual circumstances and, if required, seek financial advice.
How do I sign up?
What happens once I have signed up?
Once you have completed and signed the appropriate forms and returned them to the relevant areas, ASGARD administration will set up an account for you. It will take approximately five business days to open your new ASGARD account. Once an account is set up for you, a Welcome Pack will be sent to you that will include:
If you have insurance cover with Plum, your existing insurance benefit design will transfer across to ASGARD when you transfer your existing Plum fund balance to ASGARD (excludes M&F and Pre-1990 Category members). ASGARD will advise you when this transfer has taken place. Until this time your insurance will remain with Plum under the Terms and Conditions of this fund. Please note that if you are in the M&F or Pre-1990 Category of the Plum Superannuation Fund (Plum), your insurance will cease should you choose to direct your contributions to a fund other than Plum. If you were previously receiving an insurance premium subsidy within the Plum Fund (for example, if you were in the MySupa category) this will cease when you transfer your balance out of Plum.
Testimonials from staff who have previously transferred to ASGARD
‘The change over to ASGARD was smooth and over the last year I have had an exceptional range of investments to choose from. The Investor Online website provides up to date information I need to track and value my investments and make changes to maximise my superannuation benefits.’
‘Since I moved my super to ASGARD I haven't stopped raving to anyone who would listen. I like being able to own shares within my super and my adviser recommends what and when to buy. I can't understand why every staff member is not taking advantage of this product.’
Useful information about Choice of Superannuation
What is Choice of Superannuation Fund?
Choice of Superannuation Fund or ‘Choice’ refers to legislation passed by the Federal Government in June 2004, which allows employees (with some exceptions) to choose a complying superannuation fund or Retirement Savings Account, to which their employer pays their compulsory Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions into. Choice of Super comes into effect on 1 July 2005.
Why has Choice been introduced?
The Federal Government has introduced Choice of Super to encourage people to take a more active role in the management of their superannuation. For most Australians superannuation will be the primary source with which they will fund their retirement and the biggest asset they own outside of home ownership.
Who does Choice of Super apply to?
All working Australians will be offered Choice of Super apart from those who:
Some Government employees are also ineligible. These are:
The Government has estimated that this will equate to 4.82 million employees and 654,000 employers who will be affected by Choice of Super.
Do I have to make a choice?
Under the Choice of Super legislation you have two options:
Do nothing and you will remain in your employer’s nominated default fund. In many instances this will be the superannuation fund that your employer currently pays your SG contributions into. The default fund can be any complying superannuation fund or Retirement Savings Account chosen by your employer.
Complete the relevant Superannuation Standard Choice form available from HRXpress and nominate a complying superannuation fund or Retirement Savings Account, to which your employer will pay your future SG contributions into on your behalf.
If you do decide to exercise your right of choice, you will need to provide your employer with confirmation that the superannuation fund you have nominated is a complying fund and will accept contributions on your behalf.
How do I make a choice?
If you are eligible to make a choice under the new legislation your employer is required to provide you with a Superannuation Standard Choice form before 29 July 2005. If you begin working for a new employer after 1 July 2005, they must provide you with a Superannuation Standard Choice form within 28 days of you commencing employment. Employers must also offer you Choice of Super upon your request unless you have been offered choice within the previous twelve months.
If you decide to choose a different fund to your employers default fund, you need to complete PART B of the Superannuation Standard Choice form, stating your fund’s ABN or superannuation product identification number (SPIN) and a letter from your trustee verifying that the fund is a complying superannuation fund (for self-managed superannuation funds you will need to obtain a letter from the ATO confirming that the fund is regulated) and that it will except contributions from your employer.
What is in the Superannuation Standard Choice form?
There are three sections within the Superannuation Standard Choice form, the first section (PART A) is to be completed by your employer and advises you of the name of the default fund your superannuation contributions will be paid to, should you not make a choice.
The second section (PART B) is to be completed by you. In this section you need to either nominate to have your contributions made to your employers default fund, or you can nominate your own complying superannuation fund or Retirement Savings Account.
The third section (PART C) is for your employer to record the dates that they received and processed the Superannuation Standard Choice form as an aid to proving their compliance with the Choice legislation.
What happens if I do nothing?
If you decide to not exercise your right to choose a superannuation fund, your employer will pay your SG contributions into their nominated default fund.
What do I need to take into account if I am considering changing funds?
If you’re considering changing funds, you need to make sure you are being given enough information to properly compare any offer from another superannuation fund with your current fund. You’ll need to consider things like the following:
How do I find out about a superannuation fund’s fees and charges?
It can be very difficult for the average person to make true comparisons between various types of options that superannuation funds offer. This can be particularly difficult where most of the fees are implicit in unit prices from fund managers. One of the greatest advantages of an account-based system like ASGARD is that all of the fees charged are shown in dollar terms on your Statement of Advice and on Investor Online.
From 1 July 2005, Product Disclosure Statements of superannuation funds will contain standardised fee disclosure including worked fee examples, in order to help you make an informed decision. You need to be aware that fees (especially investment, administration and insurance) for personal accounts can often be considerably higher than for accounts that fall under an employer arrangement.
In addition, you also need to consider just what you are receiving for the fees that you pay. For instance, many industry funds offer $1 per week insurance. However, this often provides an extremely low level of cover, which may not be suitable for your needs.
How could changing superannuation funds affect my insurance cover?
If you are considering changing your superannuation fund, you need to familiarise yourself with the insurance cover that you currently have within your existing superannuation fund. Like investment fees, insurance fees can vary widely. From style of pricing – formula driven (5 x salary) or cost driven ($1 per week) – to group versus personal, there are many different options and premiums available.
As such, you need to consider the effect that changing funds will have on the cost of your cover, the level of cover that you will be able to obtain and whether you will need to provide a personal statement or medical evidence in order to get insurance cover through another superannuation fund.
To help protect your lifestyle and investments in the event of a personal crisis, ASGARD offers a range of insurance options, including Life Protection and Total & Permanent Disablement Protection.
How can I find out if a superannuation fund is the right one for me?
Many people simply compare the past performance of superannuation funds when considering if it is suitable for them, even though this is not a good indicator of future performance. The best way to compare superannuation funds is to obtain the assistance of a Financial Planner who will be able to help you make an informed decision regarding your investment choice.
Your superannuation is an important part of your financial future. You may wish to talk to a Financial Planner before making changes to your current superannuation arrangements. Call the Financial Advice Contact Centre (FACC) on 02 9553 5022 to arrange an appointment with a St.George Financial Planner in your area.
What do I need to consider when choosing a Financial Planner?
Financial planning is all about making sure that your current and long-term financial needs are met in the best possible way, as such, choosing a Financial Planner is a very important and personal decision. As you will need to provide your Financial Planner with a lot of personal information about your current financial situation and your financial goals, you need to ensure that you feel comfortable with the Financial Planner you choose so that you can develop an effective long-term financial plan.
A good Financial Planner will work through each stage of the financial planning process with you, making sure you have a clear understanding of each stage and that you are comfortable with any recommendations they make. There are strict legal requirements for Financial Planner, including the 'know your client' rule. This requires Financial Planner to be able to prove that they know each client in detail and have prepared an individual plan for each client.
Further information about obtaining financial advice can be obtained from the Australian Investment and Securities Commission on 1300 300 630 or online at www.fido.asic.gov.au, you can also contact the Financial Planning Association on 1800 626 393 or visit them online at www.fpa.asn.au.
How does financial planning work?
A Financial Planner is an expert, trained to understand your individual investment profile. Using the range of responsible options available, your Financial Planner will assist you to develop a financial plan that will help you to a secure and informed investment future.
When preparing your investment strategy with your Financial Planner, you will have many factors to consider and discuss. Apart from assessing if you are investing an adequate amount to fund your investment or retirement goals, there are numerous other issues to decide on and include in your plan. There are three stages in the financial planning process - information gathering, analysis and recommendation, and implementation and review.
Your Financial Planner will ask you many questions to get to know you and to determine your financial goals, both long and short-term. Your Financial Planner will consider your current situation - your assets and liabilities, expenses and income. Your Financial Planner will also determine your risk tolerance, that is, how you feel about risk.
There are no right or wrong answers. Your Financial Planner is there to learn all about you, so he or she can analyse your situation and determine a recommended course of action. If you have any questions or concerns, ask away. Your Financial Planner is there to assist you.
Analysis and recommendation
Your Financial Planner will analyse the information you have given them in detail. They will determine a strategy to help you achieve your financial goals, and then recommend investments to carry out the strategy. Once your Financial Planner has determined a course of action, they will meet with you to discuss your plan.
When you meet with your Financial Planner to discuss strategy, be prepared to ask questions. Make sure you understand all aspects of the plan before signing anything. Your Financial Planner will go through your plan with you in detail. If you are uncomfortable with any sections, discuss your concerns with your Financial Planner.
Implementation and review
Once you have agreed on your plan, it can then be implemented. This may involve opening a new account, consolidating your superannuation accounts and other assets, taking out insurance and more. Your Financial Planner will assist you every step of the way to ensure that your financial plan is implemented with a minimum of fuss. Once your plan has been put in place, you will need to review your plan regularly with your Financial Planner to ensure that it continues to meet your needs, which will change over time.
What will obtaining financial advice cost?
The cost of obtaining financial advice varies depending on whether the Financial Planner you choose charges an hourly rate, a flat fee, a commission on the amount you invest or a proportion of the total funds that you invest. Some Financial Planner may charge a combination of these options and you may also be able to negotiate the fees that you are charged depending on the fee structure that the Financial Planner has in place.
ASGARD is Australia’s most awarded administration platform – offering retirement, investment, cash, insurance and margin loan Accounts.
Today, ASGARD administers over $20 billion for more than 300,000 investors. ASGARD is part of the St.George Group, one of Australia’s largest and most respected service companies. ASGARD also offers insurance that can be tailored to your individual needs, a service which complements its Investment and Superannuation Accounts. With an ASGARD Account, it’s easy for you to diversify your savings and manage all your investments and insurance needs through one central contact point.
Within the corporate super market in Australia, ASGARD offers the most flexible array of investment choices through the one administration platform and is the only provider offering access to direct shares (Source: Rainmaker Information). You can choose from five pre-set diversified profiles or create your own portfolio from more than 270 managed funds and most of the top 300 stocks in the ASX.
ASGARD has more than 20 years’ experience in master fund and managed investment scheme administration. In recognition of its ongoing commitment to providing service of the highest quality, ASGARD has recently been awarded:
Money magazine‘Best of the Best’ Awards
ASSIRT Service Level Survey
Asset magazine Awards
Five Great Reasons to Choose ASGARD
Why ASGARD Employee Super?
Choice of product and choice of investments
Your ASGARD benefits
St.George employees investing in ASGARD products pay a discounted administration fee. To highlight the savings in fees between a normal investor and a St.George employee, two examples follow:
Both investments are placed in a Managed Profiles account. We have also assumed that the average account balance over one year is the same as the amount invested.
ASGARD also offers the same great benefit for family members who fall under the specified relationship categories. That is, your family pay no ASGARD administration fee, so are left with only the expense fee and trustee fee payable.
Managed Profiles and Separately Managed Accounts– Funds (SMA – Funds)
Currently, the discounted fee benefit will remain for you and your family even if you leave employment of the St.George Group. This is not a lifetime guarantee but represents our current practice. Any fee increase will be communicated in advance.
Investor Online gives you access to information on your ASGARD Accounts anywhere, any time over the Internet. You can view your Account balances, investments held, transaction details, insurance details and asset allocation in an easy to read format. Investor Online is fast, secure and gives you up-to-date information about your Account. This service is free of ASGARD fees.
Self Managed Super Funds
Do-it-yourself (DIY) super via a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) is becoming an increasingly popular choice for investors who want to have control of how their superannuation monies are invested.
A SMSF is a trust where money or assets are held and managed on behalf of up to four members to provide future retirement benefits. The trustee of your fund (you) decides on your fund’s investment strategy and chooses what your fund’s assets are invested in. This means your fund’s investments can be tailored to suit the specific needs of members before and after retirement.
While there are undoubted benefits to members in establishing an SMSF, running your own fund is complex and there are many things you have to consider including your investment strategy, the administration of your fund and compliance with superannuation and other laws. In fact, many investors who choose the DIY super path are employing the services of specialist SMSF administrators to undertake the onerous compliance activities on behalf of their fund, while they still enjoy the benefits of investment control and flexibility.
ASGARD Self Managed SuperLink is a full suite of SMSF support services which link together all of the operational and administrative needs of a SMSF. SuperLink is designed to assist the trustees of a SMSF with administration, reporting and compliance tasks while the trustees retain control over the investments of the SMSF.
All new applicants to the ASGARD Employee Super Account are offered Life and Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD) insurance cover when they join, with the option to cancel or change that cover. New staff will be offered the standard St.George Group insurance benefit design, but can opt out of that cover within 28 days. The standard St.George Group insurance benefit design for Life Protection and TPD for permanent staff is:
10% of salary1 x YFS2 to age 60
These rates are for permanent staff only and do not apply to casual staff. Casual staff are offered age-based fixed dollar per week death only insurance.
The age related premium rates per annum apply for each $1,000 of sum insured.
If you are a new employee after 1 July 2005 and wish to elect a different level of cover, you will need to download and complete the St.George Employee Insurance Variation Form and return it to ASGARD. Please note this form does not apply for casual staff. Casual staff are offered age-based fixed dollar per week death only insurance.
If you are an existing staff member at 1 July 2005 and transfer your superannuation balance from Plum to ASGARD, your existing Life and TPD insurance benefit design under Plum will be transferred to ASGARD at that time (excludes M&F and Pre-1990 category members). If you would like to increase your insurance cover, you will need to provide medical evidence. Please speak to your Financial Adviser if you would like to change your level of cover.
The calculation basis for the Life and TPD insurance formula has recently changed for St.George Group members of the ASGARD Employee Super Account. Life and TPD insurance was originally based on 80% of TEC (Total Employment Cost), but on 1 July 2005 this changed so that Life and TPD insurance for all St.George Staff is now based on the full 100% of TEC. As a result, all staff will now have their insurance cover and premiums based on 100% of TEC (or base salary for non-packaged staff), providing additional peace of mind for all St.George Group staff.
All eligible St.George staff are covered by the Bank’s salary continuance insurance policy. The Terms and Conditions of this policy are not dependant on which superannuation fund you contribute to, as it is provided outside of your superannuation arrangements (unless you are a member of the ex-M&F category of the Plum Superannuation Fund). For more information on Salary Continuance insurance, please refer to the relevant section of HRXpress.
|Instructions for Comparison Calculators
ASGARD Employee Superannuation Account and Plum Superannuation Fund
What do the calculators show?
The calculators compare the estimated total ongoing cost of each superannuation account per annum. These costs include:
What information do I need to have ready to enter into the calculators?
There are three calculators for you to use:
Why is Plum shown twice, once with a subsidy and once without?
The plan member fee for the Plum Superannuation Fund is currently $99.13 pa although this is partially subsidised by St George. As a result, only $49.28 pa is debited from your account each year. Both scenarios are shown to illustrate the effect should the subsidy be removed at some stage in the future.
Where do I need to enter my details in each scenario?
Want to know more or still unsure of what to do?
If you have questions about your super or investments in general, please either:
The information on this website was prepared by ASGARD Capital Management Ltd, ABN 92 009 279 592, Australian Financial Services Licence Number 240695. To the extent permitted by law, no liability is accepted for loss or damage as a result of reliance on this information.
ASGARD is a wholly owned subsidiary of St.George Bank Limited ABN 92 055513 070 Australian Financial Services Licence Number 240997 (St.George). ASGARD Accounts do not represent deposits with, or liabilities of, St.George and they are subject to investment risk, including possible delays in repayment and the loss of income and capital invested. Neither St.George, nor any member of the St.George Group in any way stands behind or guarantees the capital value and/or the performance of the specific investments you select, or the Accounts, products and services provided by ASGARD generally.
The investment information or general advice provided does not take into account any person's personal objectives, financial situation or needs and because of that a person should consider the appropriateness of the information or advice having regard to these factors.
In deciding whether to open, or to continue to hold, an ASGARD Account, you should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Financial Services Guide for that Account issued by ASGARD. Copies can be obtained from ASGARD or a licensed financial adviser.