It has been just over a year since The Superannuation Voluntary Code of Practice (ICoP) launched on 1 July 2018 which means that funds who have opted in have only 2 more years to fully transition – June 2021 may seem far off however there is still a lot of work to be done!
By now, funds should have:
Confirmed their intent to adopt ICoP and
published their transition plans online informing members of expected timeframes.
These were the easier bits.
Since ICoP was introduced the industry has been hit with the Protecting Your Superannuation Package Legislation (PYS). With a more immediate implementation date of 1 July 2019, and with both initiatives addressing the removal of insurance cover due to account inactivity, compliance with the PYS legislation moved to the top of the list for funds.
From an administrator’s perspective, they too have inadvertently been caught out by the PYS requirements and their ICoP schedule has slipped. Most are now talking to funds about August 2019 where members will be able to cancel their insurance over the phone. The clock is ticking.
Now that we have moved beyond 1 July 2019, funds should be ready to return their focus to ICoP and reviewing insurance benefits designed to be ‘Appropriate and Affordable’ for Automatic Insurance Members (AIMs). Basically, making sure premiums are affordable and do not exceed 1% of estimated member salaries.
Fortunately, there is no longer a requirement to remove a member’s insurance cover based on their AIM or non-AIM status (with some notable exceptions). Funds do need to consider, however, which members to identify as ‘vulnerable’ and what assistance will be offered to those members as per ICoP requirements.
A significant section of ICoP addresses insurance claims, enquiries and complaints and the recommended timeframes for communicating with members during each stage. Trustees need to commit to review claim decisions in 5 business days which may prove difficult for some and prompt a review of existing business processes.
Of course, at the heart of ICoP is communications, and the requirement that interactions with members be clear and upfront. Funds will need to review all their member communications to ensure that information being issued to members meet these criteria. This can include welcome packs, annual statements and even social media posts!
The good news – funds still have another 2 years to fully transition. The bad news – with the frequency of changes in the industry, no doubt additional requirements will pop up along the way, such as the ‘Putting Members Interests First’ Bill proposed to commence later this year, which may or may not push ICoP back down the priority list. The time will pass very quickly whatever happens, so best strategy is to push forward. And of course, be in touch if IQ Group can help.
Earlier in May, IQ Group kicked off its first fundraising activity for the year, “Pause for a Cause” in support of the IQ Pat Baker Foundation.
What is Pause for a Cause?
It was the IQ graduate team who came up with the idea of “pause for a cause” to challenge staff to give something up that they have on a regular basis and donate the money they would have spent to the IQ Pat Baker Foundation. What started out as a challenge to give up coffee, quickly expanded to other areas and included red wine, fancy dinners and even social media for our graduates.
So how did we go?
The first month saw IQ graduates, Justin, Carmen and Damien give up social media for one day a week. Principal Consultant, Pam White was challenged to give up coffee for one week. Pam, who loves her coffee, failed this challenge however was more than happy to donate to the cause. The Head of Customer Trust & Assurance, Kath Forrest and Resource Manager, Belinda McKinlay also participated, and a generous donation was given by CEO, Brian Peters, who failed his first month’s challenge of giving up red wine.
In a combined effort, our team managed to raise over $500 for the IQ Pat Baker Foundation. A good start and something that we hope will continue to grow.
The IQ Pat Baker Foundation was setup in memory of long-serving colleague Pat Baker. A kind, enthusiastic and generous friend, he enjoyed helping those people around him and we continue to honour his legacy.
The IQ Pat Baker Foundation helps two charities, nominated by staff
Hopes and Dreams™- providing clean water in remote areas in Africa and India and assist the poor in providing Micro Enterprise Development opportunities
The Smith Family – supporting school kids to receive a better education and help break the poverty cycle.
By helping to provide this we are empowering these young minds to build a better future for themselves.
The IQ Pat Baker Foundation is a Private Ancillary Fund where donations can only be accepted from staff and alumni.
Leadership, rather than just managing, is becoming one of the real differentiators in our rapidly changing Super/Wealth landscape. At the ASFA spotlight on leadership and transformation luncheon last week, a number of keynote speakers including Chris Davies (CEO of Telstra Super) gave some valuable insights into simple ways businesses can create a positive leadership environment. One of the key points made was that gender diversity was not just a moral position, but one that had a significant positive business case payback to organisations.
“Diversity makes business sense; it does not need to be just a moral position.”
One of the biggest takeaways from the conference was the idea that age plays an interesting role in introducing different forms of leadership amongst employees.
Within the next three years, Gen X, Y & Z will make up 92% of the workforce. For leadership initiatives to prosper internally, each employee and their respective generational leadership styles must be understood.
Also, technology is fundamentally ingrained into the present-day working environment and whilst it is there to make work life more efficient, it can have many detrimental aspects by making us work longer, blurring the lines between home and work.
In summary, leaders must be open to change and adapting to new circumstances as the landscape of work is changing and we need to equip our staff with the tools to succeed.
What a great event.
Kostas Kalantzis, attending the ASFA Luncheon on behalf of IQ Group
MOTHER’S DAY CLASSIC FOUNDATION (MDCF) AND WOMEN IN SUPER (WIS) PARTNERS WITH IQ GROUP TO SUPPORT VOLUNTEER DEVELOPMENT
The national rollout of Project Skills workshops for MDCF and WIS volunteers by IQ Group will provide a thorough understanding of project fundamentals and support the continued success of both MDCF and WIS programs.
Melbourne, 3rd July 2019 – Commencing in July, MDCF/WIS together with IQ Group will launch a series of workshops for MDCF/WIS volunteers to build on their fundamental project management skills and navigation skills for achieving project success.
Sharon Morris, MDCF Chief Executive Officer says, “The Mother’s Day Classic Foundation couldn’t raise funds and awareness without the incredible support of our volunteer committees across the country. So, we are delighted to have IQ’s support in facilitating a national project skills workshop, which will enable us to give back to those who give so much, by providing invaluable professional and personal skills to our volunteers.”
Women in Super, founders of the Mother’s Day Classic, see its involvement, together with its work in promoting better retirement prospects for women, as an important investment in the future health of Australian women, so they can enjoy a happy and healthy retirement.
Cate Wood, Chair Woman in Super says, “Women in Super is dedicated to providing valuable opportunities to members, as well as women generally, and one of the key ways we achieve this is through the range of events we hold. Offering our committee members this training is not only a way of thanking our tireless volunteers by providing them with practical skills that can be put to use to further their careers, but will also ensure that our teams continue to create engaging and inspiring events year round.”
IQ Group senior project practitioners Cynthia Cheong, Cathy Hollis, Pam White and George Georgiou will deliver the workshops across most major Australian cities. Brian Peters, Chief Executive Officer of IQ Group commented that, “IQ is proud to be supporting capability development for the MDCF and Women in Super volunteer network. The work they do touches the lives of thousands of Australians raising funds and awareness for breast cancer and working tirelessly to create better retirement outcomes for women. We are thrilled to be playing a small part.”
The objective of the program is to give MDCF/WIS volunteers greater confidence, ensuring all contributions have a positive and successful impact for the ongoing success and legacy the MDC Foundation, together with Women in Super, have created.
ABOUT IQ GROUP
IQ Group has helped superannuation and wealth management clients to achieve better business outcomes, delivering independent advice on technologies, processes and regulatory change as well as proven project delivery success for almost 20 years in Australia.
In a time of unprecedented industry and market change for the superannuation and wealth management industries, IQ Group understands the technological and regulatory forces impacting organisations.
IQ Group is committed to ongoing innovation and empowering our clients.
The Mother’s Day Classic walk/run event is held in all capital cities and 80 regional/metropolitan locations across Australia. Approximately 100,000 family and friends come together on Mother’s Day to participate, celebrate, raise funds and pay tribute to those affected by breast cancer.
Over 22 years more than $36 million has been raised for breast cancer research. In quantifiable terms, those funds equate to 64 research programs and over 200 Australian scientists.
MDC Foundation Ltd as trustee for Mother’s Day Classic Foundation is a company limited by guarantee, and a public company with charitable status (MDC Foundation Limited ACN 604 328 994).
All proceeds from the MDC Foundation Limited are donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that supports research into breast cancer prevention and treatment.
Women in Super is a national advocacy and networking group that works to improve women’s retirement outcomes.
As a not-for-profit, Women in Super (WIS) advocates for a super system void of gender-based inequality by working on behalf of its members and women generally with government, unions, employer organisations, regulators and superannuation funds.
With over 3,300 members across Australia, WIS provides professional development, networking and career progression opportunities to assist these members in developing broader professional and personal networks. Furthermore, WIS strongly supports and encourages the appointment of women to superannuation fund boards, and works with other organisations and stakeholders to achieve this.