MTAA Super celebrates 25 years

B2B Editor1 October 2014


This year MTAA Super reaches a significant milestone – the celebration of its 25th anniversary.

The quarter century milestone provides an opportunity for the Fund to reflect on the story so far, which includes a strong historical return over 25 years of 7.5% per annum.

The growth and success of MTAA Super can be attributed largely to two factors according to CEO, Leeanne Turner: an ethos of innovation in responding to members’ needs, and a strong and instinctive alignment to the automotive industry.

MTAA Super was established in 1989, four years following the National Wage Case when the ACTU secured a 3% employer superannuation contribution to be paid into an industry fund.

At the time of the National Wage Case, only around 40 per cent of all Australian employees were covered by superannuation and they were predominantly white collar workers. Everyone else had to fund their own retirement, often through products with high fees and little flexibility.

By 1989 when MTAA Super began, the number of workers with super had almost doubled, laying the foundations of the growth that was to follow.

Fast forward 25 years and most people retiring today have accumulated savings for the majority of their working lives. This is an extraordinary and transformational achievement, and being one of the first Industry Super Funds to be established, MTAA Super is part of that story.

In fact, MTAA Super is proud to boast a number of firsts. It was among the first funds to give members investment choice, and one of the first industry funds to adopt a board structure of three employer, three member, and three independent directors, and in doing so rising to industry best practice and greatly strengthening governance and accountability.

The numerous reforms put in place by the Fund in the last few years have started to yield results, results that are winning industry recognition.

MTAA Super has been recognised by its peers with three prestigious awards in the past year:

* Fund Executive of the Year awarded to CEO Leeanne Turner

* AIST Trustee of the Year awarded to Chair John Brumby, and

* AIST Super Investment Award for Excellence awarded to Executive Manager Investments – Philip Brown.

There is no doubt the Fund has had its ups and downs, particularly in the last five years, but MTAA Super celebrates 25 years in a very good position with over 265,000 members and more than $7.5 billion in funds under management.

According to Ms Turner, “one of the great things about super is that people’s savings are invested long term by super funds in job-creating infrastructure and property. These are assets that generate economic growth for Australia and jobs for Australians. Investment in infrastructure is critical and MTAA Super has been an industry leader in this with its holdings in assets such as the RG Casey Building and 121 Marcus Clarke Street, and Sydney and Brisbane Airports”.

The Fund is particularly proud of its close relationship with and support for the automotive industry. It grew out of this industry and retains a very close partnership with it to this day.

The combined impacts of globalization and rapid technology advances, together with changing skill requirements and shifting consumer behaviours are re-shaping the automotive industry.

There are now over 50 different professions in the automotive industry and many face skills shortages. In the 2013/14 financial year MTAA Super launched its Pathways program, a unique program designed to celebrate and educate the broader public about the many and varied career paths available in the automotive industry.

Initiatives like sponsorship of the V8 Supercar series and the Apprentice of the Year Awards are aimed at encouraging young people to understand the vast array of opportunities that exist in the automotive industry. While the flagship ‘readthesigns’ program with Lifeline Australia is aimed at reducing the impact of mental illness and suicide within the industry.

“It is critical that we strongly support and promote our industry as it undergoes major changes, both the difficult changes that have come with the winding down of car manufacturing in Australia, as well as the positive opportunities that exist in an industry that is being transformed by technology and innovation” said Ms Turner.

“We proudly support industry programs in a number of ways, as well as supporting employers in the industry to manage legislative change and reduce the burden on administering super for our industry’s small businesses”.

“As the Australian superannuation system has grown to rival the size of the banks, it has become a major player. There is a wealth of opportunity to further connect superannuation savings and investment in infrastructure and to make some huge inroads in addressing our infrastructure backlog.”

“MTAA Super is part of that story, and we can all be proud of what we have achieved not just in the last few years, but for a quarter of a century for our members, employers and the industry”.

Contact MTAA Super
Phone 1300 362 415
from 8am-7pm EST
Fax 1300 365 142