Tasmania now has a single united industry super fund, after the RBF Tasmanian Accumulation Scheme completed its merger into Tasplan.
On Friday, March 31, 2017, Tasplan announced that the merger had been completed, following a three-year process to consolidate the Tasmanian superannuation funds. Tasplan now has $7.6 billion in funds under management and more than 165,000 members. This merger follows the transfer of Quadrant into Tasplan in late 2015.
The chief executive of Tasplan, Wayne Davy, told Investment Magazine the fund still has an appetite for further mergers, but with no funds left in Tasmania, it was looking to the mainland.
“We believe further mergers are needed across the industry … and we are keen to talk with others,” Davy said.
RBF’s history as a state-owned super fund meant that Tasplan took only its defined contribution members.
“We acknowledge the support of the government and Parliament in enabling Tasplan to be the default superannuation fund for Tasmanian government employees for the next three years,” Davy said.
RBF’s defined benefit schemes now sit under a newly created state-run Superannuation Commission, which consists of up to three people appointed by the state’s Treasurer. The commission can put the administration and investment management out to tender, with funds such as Tasplan able to bid for it.
As part of the merger, asset classes were proportionally split between RBF’s defined contribution and defined benefit members.
“Over the next 12 months, we will go through those asset classes to determine what our future [portfolio] structure will look like,” Davy said.
RBF also brought across a property investment option that is now available for all Tasplan members.
Former RBF chief investment officer Ian Lundy was confirmed as Tasplan’s new CIO in October 2016. The enlarged super fund has been able to hire 30 other former RBF employees and an additional 30 people from outside of Tasplan and RBF.
“We have been able to retain the expertise of some very talented people,” Davy says. “Our board and executives are all Tasmanians and have an intimate knowledge of our community.”
In a statement, Tasplan said most RBF members would see a reduction in their administration charges. It added that changes to the Tasplan Pension fee structure would also lower fees for many existing pension members.
Davy acknowledged former RBF chief executive Philip Mussared, “who led RBF [into becoming] a strong and successful public-sector super fund over seven years”.
“Without the efforts of Philip and the RBF team, we would not have been able to achieve the successor fund transfer,” Davy said.