Offering banking services to pensioners is imperative for super funds with an older demographic, according to Vision Super fund development manager David Moxon.

February will see Vision make available to its members the SuperVantage Account, a partnership with Cuscal which will provide its allocated pensioners with a suite of transactional banking services that will allow their savings to remain in a tax-free environment.

A cash management account will become the seventeenth investment option available to Vision Super’s allocated pensioners, which will be linked to a Vision-branded Visa debit card, chequebook, and full internet banking service. There will be a 35 bps annual administration fee (capped for accounts over $300,000), a 6 bps annual MER for the cash investment and a $5 monthly fee covering up to 10 transactions. The general manager, customers at Cuscal, Phillip Hurley, said the 10-transaction cut-off before additional charges was experimental.

“If we see a reasonable number of Vision Super’s members doing say 25 or 30 transactions a month, we’ll potentially reset the pricing,” he said. Cuscal operates the Rediteller ATM network, which has 1400 locations around Australia (with plans to grow to 2500), only slightly behind National Australia Bank’s footprint of 1600 machines. Vision Super’s Moxon said there were up to 10,000 Vision Super members over or approaching age 60 who would be targeted in communications on SuperVantage.

“We want to give members as few excuses to leave the fund as possible,” he said. “For a fund like Host Plus which talks about having 30,000 members under 30, there might not be quite the same imperative.” Moxon was aware that many super funds would be watching Vision Super’s experience with interest, but he cited the main competition for pensioner transaction business as being the big four banks and their own super-linked offerings.

Vision’s
SuperVantage Visa debit cards are currently being road-tested by two retired
former staff of the fund, although at presstime it was too early for Moxon to
give definitive feedback . However the chief executive officer of Vision Super,
Rob Brooks, saw offering banking services as a part big of the industry’s
future. “With the launch of our banking service linked to an allocated pension
account, our vision is for retailers to ask “Will you be paying for that by
cheque, credit, savings or super?” he said.

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