Cbus will no longer be the ‘guinea pig’ for Superpartners longdelayed administration platform, with Queensland industry fund Aust(Q) becoming the new test bed on the basis it’s a self-confessed ‘simple’ scheme with no member investment choice. Cbus insists the change, which should see Aust(Q) be the first on to Superpartners’ ElectSP system in the first half of 2011, followed by Cbus in 2012, was made at the behest of the administrator. Cbus, which was supposed to be live on ElectSP by July 2009, is one of the five industry fund shareholders of Superpartners which originally tipped $70 million into the system replacement project.

Last year, Superpartners bought from Synchronised Software the source code for CapitalX, the platform on which ElectSP is based, and the shareholders contributed an extra $150 million so that the administrator (in ongoing partnership with Tata Consulting Services) could make changes necessary for 20 legacy systems to be replaced. Clients with more complex product offerings, such as AustralianSuper, are scheduled to receive ElectSP in 2013. Aust(Q), with only 21,000 members, $175 million under management and no investment choice, should present less implementation challenges than other prospective sites.

Its single default balanced option will make data migration in particular much simpler, according to chair Bob Henricks. All of the ‘default’ accounts held by Superpartners are currently administered on its proprietary ‘R2’ system, but as soon as a member makes an investment choice, an account must also be established for them on Bravura’s old ‘Superb’ system. Pension accounts are administered on a different system again, Bravura’s Calibre.

This was meant to be swept away by ElectSP, but pensions have emerged as a difficulty in the project, so Calibre will now remain and be upgraded “while a different long-term solution is sought” according to AustralianSuper’s general manager of operations, Glenn Palmer. The existing administration arrangements were “stable’ and AustralianSuper was not concerned at the revised 2013 delivery date for ElectSP, Palmer said, although he admitted the fund would rather have the new system now. “In terms of ease of launching new products, and a workflow system which will give everyone total visibility of every piece of paper that comes in to the fund, the new system will be a massive leap forward,” Palmer said.

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