The NSW Electrical Superannuation Scheme (NESS) last month became the first AAS client to transfer to the member administrator’s new system, an overhauled version of Atune known as AASpire.

The $307 million fund’s 15,000 member accounts were transferred from the UltimAAS system to AASpire over two successive weekends last month. AASpire is a re-tooled version of what used to be known as Atune. When Link Group purchased AAS from Telstra in 2006, it poured $20 million into the struggling Atune and developed, in AASpire, a system it claims can administer accumulation, defined benefit and pension components within the same member account, and also provide full integration of contact centre, electronic employer contributions and administration capabilities. NESS fund secretary, Philip Hirshbein, said the scheme’s small size made it a natural “;guinea pig”; for the first transfer – AAS wants to convert all of its clients to AASpire over the next 18 months. Hirshbein said the transition had run smoothly, and said an advantage of the new arrangement was that everybody working on AASpire’s operations was now located together on the same floor of AAS’ Parramatta headquarters. In other NESS news, Hirshbein said the fund had just added Australian equity and international equity options to the investment choices that members are able to allocate between. He also hopes to have account-based pensions available to members by June 30 – such pensions are already being administered on AASpire for other AAS clients.