David Hutton, chairman of ASC, said in the release that his fund has relentlessly pursued greater scale to secure "the financial futures of our members."
Just over three months ago, ACS and NGS Super, a Sydney-based fund managing A$13 billion in retirement assets for 120,000 employees in Australia's education and community sectors, announced they had decided not to merge after 12 months of due diligence.
On Aug. 31, meanwhile, ACS's LifetimeOne super offering was cited by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority as one of 13 out of 80 MySuper default products reviewed that failed to pass a new performance test APRA introduced this year.
Trustees of those 13 products were required to write to their members in September informing them of that negative outcome, with the prospect of greater pressure to come to effect "an orderly transfer" of their retirement savings to a better-performing fund should those 13 fail to pass the performance test next year as well.
Ian Martin, chairman of UniSuper, said in Wednesday's news release that UniSuper — one of a handful of Australian funds overseeing more than A$100 billion in retirement assets — is focused on providing exceptional retirement outcomes as opposed to becoming Australia's biggest fund.
In May, however, when UniSuper announced it would begin to accept participants from outside its traditional higher education and research sectors starting in July, then-CEO Kevin O'Sullivan noted that scale is becoming "increasingly critical in delivering strong performance and competitive fees for the benefit of all members."
Opening the fund to Australia's broader workforce "will enable UniSuper members to benefit from even greater scale," Mr. O'Sullivan said.
A merger with ACS, meanwhile, would be UniSuper's first, confirmed a spokesman for the fund. That's in contrast to heavyweights such as AustralianSuper, a Melbourne-based fund with more than A$230 billion in assets, and Aware Super, a Sydney-based fund with more than A$155 billion, which have been involved in a number of mergers over the years.
On Wednesday, Aware Super announced it had completed a merger with Victorian Independent Schools Superannuation Fund, a Melbourne-based fund with roughly A$900 million in assets whose MySuper offering — the fund's VISSF Balanced Option — was likewise on the list of 13 products failing to pass the APRA test this year.