The Australian arm of Unilever, Melbourne, will outsource the management of its A$250 million (US$228.8 million) staff superannuation scheme to a major industry fund in April.
The Unilever fund will be rolled into the Brisbane, Australia-based A$14 billion Sunsuper to provide members with the investment benefits enabled by larger scale and additional services such as financial planning, confirmed Andrew Bell, superannuation director at Unilever.
“They have the scale that can provide a much more competitive result for investments. Because of our relatively lower level of diversification, our ups and downs (in performance) have been sharper,” Mr. Bell said.
He said the transition was first planned about 18 months ago, but was not made because legislation providing tax relief during superannuation fund mergers has not passed Parliament. However, he said tax liabilities were no longer problematic because “tax losses have been nicely used up over the last 12 months by the markets.”
In the transition, Sunsuper will absorb the A$40 million defined benefit plan and the larger accumulation plan.
Mr. Bell said members’ accounts would not be greatly affected as a result of the transition, because the four investment options offered by Unilever found their equivalent among the 25 provided by Sunsuper.
The six-person trustee board of the Unilever fund will become a policy committee and meet with Sunsuper executives on a quarterly basis to review the service being provided by the bigger fund.
Simon Mumme is a reporter with Investment magazine, Sydney.