Maritime Super’s COVID-19 business continuity plans, maintaining our level of service
The following communication provides all members and employers with an update on Maritime Super’s business continuity plans for the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
The Fund is committed to ensuring the safety of all staff, members and employers in response to this situation and we are working towards operating the Fund with little or no disruption to service to you.
Our response and business operations will be reviewed, and updated, based on the latest developments with the COVID-19 crisis, Australian Government guidelines and relevant business requirements.
Please continue to check the website for the latest information on member services.
With lockdown measures continuing Maritime Super has implemented the following procedures, for the foreseeable future:
As you can appreciate, we are experiencing higher than normal call volumes and emails. We ask for your patience and understanding as we address all member enquiries.
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (AEST)
1800 757 607
We are currently operating our regular business hours, however we are managing this on a daily basis.
If you don’t have a specific question and you are simply after some information – please log in to Member Online or the Member App to access your account details.
If you prefer, you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Administration and processing
We are aiming to process all forms and correspondence within our usual ‘best practice’ standards, while prioritising critical functions including switches and payments to members. However, please bear with us if there is some delay under the current circumstances.
In some cases, we may also be impacted by other suppliers and service providers who may need to adjust their work procedures. If for instance mail delivery is impacted or halted, we may need to email you with information or confirmation – please ensure we have your current email on file.
We are taking preventative measures for the health and safety of the community, members and staff. With lockdown measures beginning to be enforced, we would suggest you call ahead and only come in to the office for urgent matters.
If you are visiting one of our offices, please be aware that if one or more of the following scenarios applies to you, you will not be able to enter the office and your meeting will need to be postponed:
- You travelled overseas in the preceding 14 days
- You have been in contact with someone who’s tested positive to COVID-19
- You have flu-like symptoms
Please note we will also adhere to the Government’s social distancing guidelines in all personal contact with you.
We apologise for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding during this unprecedented health emergency.
Worksite visits have been suspended for now, but our business relationship managers are still available to support you even if it can’t be face-to-face.
We will update you as soon as we can start to come out to worksites again.
Financial planning appointments
Our financial planners will continue to meet with members for appointments over the phone. Contact details for all planners are available here.
Remember, if you wish to book an appointment with a planner you can do this online. Given the extra volume of calls, online bookings may prove more convenient.
The developments with the COVID-19 virus have impacted economies and investment markets around the world creating significant volatility in recent weeks. We understand you may feel uneasy or concerned about markets falling and you may question what to do about your super. It's important to understand that how you react to market volatility can make a big difference to your super over the long term.
While markets have fallen considerably, history has shown us that markets do recover so it is important to maintain a longer-term focus when considering your super.
Unless you need to access your money in the short-term, stay calm and stay invested in the market focusing on your long-term investment strategy. If you are concerned about how your money is invested, it’s best to speak to one of our financial planners.
During this crisis, all super funds, their investment teams and their investment managers are operating in the same environment and employing relevant strategies based on their fund profile, asset classes and market experience. Maritime Super's investment strategy is skewed toward a more defensive strategy in line with our Fund's demographic profile, which offers some reprieve.
Our Managed Volatility Process (MVP) is proving effective under crisis. While we can never be fully immune to sharp declines in investment markets, the downside protection offered through the MVP has cushioned the deep magnitude of the falls. The MVP feature has cushioned around 9% of the sharp market drop from the top of the markets (20 February) to the most recent bottom (23 March) in the Growth option and other equivalent growth strategies in the market.
For more information refer to our latest fact sheet addressing the current investment volatility.
Maritime Super performed under crisis during the worst period of the COVID-19 market downturn. Our defensive investment approach and MVP feature kept losses to a minimum for members. Read the full article here.
We continue to stay abreast of all market developments and opportunities during this time.
Temporary early access to super
The Government has introduced legislation to allow individuals in financial stress, as a result of COVID-19, to have temporary early access to super. Refer to our Fact Sheet for more information.
Eligible individuals can apply online through myGov for access of up to $10,000 of their super before 1 July 2020. They will also further be able to access up to $10,000 from 1 July 2020 for another three months.
If you are eligible for this new ground of early release, you must apply directly to the ATO through the myGov website: www.my.gov.au. If approved by the ATO, the ATO will authorise Maritime Super to release your super, once we’ve received the notification we will transfer the money to your bank account. We may need you to verify your bank account details.
It’s important to be aware that early access to super is an important decision that will impact your future retirement benefit, particularly withdrawing money in this environment. Before accessing your super, please contact one of our financial planners to discuss this option.
Support for retirees
To support retirees, the Government has temporarily reduced the minimum drawdown requirements for pensions by half for 2019/20 and 2020/21.
You can halve your pension payments for the remainder of this financial year or stop payments altogether if you’ve already received your minimum drawdown for the year. You may also choose to halve your pension payments for the next financial year, 2020/2021.
Note that the Government has also reduced both the upper and lower social security deeming rates. From 1 May 2020, the upper deeming rate will be 2.25% and the lower deeming rate will be 0.25%.
Cyber activity is known to escalate during times of increased uncertainty and economic instability. We ask all members to be vigilant with their personal data and online activity. Please be aware that Maritime Super will not email or text you to request any personal information or financial data.
If you are in doubt about an information request or change to usual practice, please call us yourself and verify the information request.
Updated as at 13 May 2020