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.