COVID-19 Update

 

COVID-19 update and support

The following communication provides all members and employers with an update on Maritime Super’s business continuity plans during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Fund is committed to ensuring the safety of all staff, members and employers in response to this situation and we aim to operate 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 various state-based restrictions continuing Maritime Super has implemented the following procedures:

Member Services

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.

Call Centre

Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (AEST)
1800 757 607

We are currently operating our regular business hours.

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. 

Email

If you prefer, you can send us an email at info@maritimesuper.com.au

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.

Office visits

We continue to take preventative measures in the interest of the health and safety of everyone. If you are planning to visit 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:

  • Feeling unwell
  • Showing flu like symptoms (even mild symptoms)
  • Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have not yet been provided a clearance
  • Have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 21 days
  • You have travelled overseas in the preceding 14 days

When visiting, please use the hand sanitisers provided and help us maintain social distancing.

As part of restrictions, our Melbourne office is currently closed until 9 November 2020. Our team is working remotely and ready to assist you over the phone or online.

We apologise for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding during this unprecedented health emergency.

Worksite visits

Worksite visits and presentations have resumed in some states (NSW, WA & QLD) with social distancing.

Our business relationship managers are still available to support you in all states, even if it can’t be face-to-face in some locations.

Financial planning appointments

Our financial planners continue to meet with members for appointments over the phone and in-person, where permitted. Contact details for all planners are available here.

Remember, if you wish to book an appointment with a planner you can do this online or give us a call. 

Member seminars

Our 2020 member seminars moved online.  If you would like to view the webinar or download the slide presentation click here

Our relationship team have resumed worksite visits and presentations in some states (NSW, WA & QLD) with social distancing, but still available over the phone if you can’t meet with them face-to-face. 

If you’d like to get in touch with one of our business relationship managers or financial planners, please give us a call on 1800 757 607.

Market volatility

The developments with the COVID-19 virus have impacted economies and investment markets around the world creating significant volatility in recent months. 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) proved effective during the peak of the crisis. While we can never be fully immune to sharp declines in investment markets, the downside protection offered through the MVP cushioned the deep magnitude of the falls. The MVP feature 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 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 on eligibility. You can apply to access up to $10,000 from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020, when applications close.  

If you are eligible, 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 confirm your ID and may need to verify your bank account details before transferring the money to your bank account. 

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. Refer to our Fact Sheet for more information on the future impact.

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.

Refer to our fact sheet for more information. If you wish to change your drawdown amount, complete the Change to drawdown amounts form and return it to the Fund.

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%.

Other Matters

Cyber security

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 9 November 2020

 
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