AAS has migrated 15 clients to its new aaspire member administration platform, including the $14 billion REST in one of the largest data migrations in Australian superannuation history, but arrears reporting has proved a stumbling block, causing problems for many funds. The NSW Electrical Superannuation Scheme (NESS) was the first AAS client to transfer to the member administrator’s new system, an overhauled version of Atune.
Phillip Hirshbein, fund secretary at NESS, said the annual review on 30 June was a good test of the new system. “We did have some hiccups with the annual review but despite our assumptions that aaspire had something to do with it, I was assured that it didn’t and the record keeping process and accounting was spot on,” he said. “Subsequently the issues we have had are to do with arrears reporting – we provide a contribution arrears service to our members and the functionality for that wasn’t allowed for on aaspire and we’re still having trouble with it.”
One fund chief executive, who asked not to be named, described the new system as “a dog” and said it was not user friendly. “A few other funds have had problems,” he said. “Some of them use the external Industry Funds Credit Control as a service provider. If [IFFC] are getting crap data [from funds using aaspire] they’re chasing up employers that are not in arrears but are reported to be in arrears.” Julie Lander, chief executive officer of the $3.3 billion CareSuper in Victoria, which migrated to aaspire in March, said it was important to put things in perspective.
“It’s a huge task and 95 per cent of it went well but there were always going to be some issues that were going to be outstanding and arrears has been one of them where it hasn’t been working as it did previously, so funds have had to work through that,” she said. “We’ve each had some quirks of things that have gone differently and as each fund migrated [AAS] learnt more and they tried to perfect their process along the way. We and another fund were the only ones that had an ASX option… there were some issues about interest coming across at the time of the migration.”
Chris McAlees, chief operating officer of AAS, said the administrator was working to remediate the arrears problem. “If any client has a specific issue we’ll look to remediate that as quickly as possible,” he said. “Whenever you do a large migration there are specific issues that need to be resolved on specific circumstances. The vast majority of clients of all of our clients are very happy with the transition and how it’s been executed.” REST’s 1.7 million active members converted to the new platform at the end of May, and McAlees described the transfer as “a huge achievement in superannuation”. “We migrated 1.7 million active members, and there are about 4.5 million active and inactive members,” he said. “It’s probably the largest migration in Australian superannuation history.”