Andrew Fraser, Sunsuper.

QSuper and Sunsuper have confirmed they are in talks about merging to create Australia’s largest superannuation fund with assets of more than $180 billion.

In a joint statement released on Monday evening, QSuper chairman Karl Morris and Sunsuper chairman Andrew Fraser said merger talks were in the “early stages”.

“There is an absolute responsibility upon trustees to consider how to best serve their members’ interests,” the funds said in a statement.

“Whether a partnership between our two funds could be better for both QSuper and Sunsuper members is an appropriate enquiry.

“Whether or not that consideration proceeds beyond preliminary discussions is dependent on many factors.”

In the meantime, both Sunsuper and QSuper members will be kept informed of any decisions.

It is understood the two Queensland super funds have been in discussions since July at which time Fraser commented that the  superannuation industry would “ultimately, overwhelmingly be a scale game”.

QSuper has more than $113 billion in funds under management and Sunsuper  has more than $70 billion.

Currently, AustralianSuper is the nation’s largest pension scheme managing $170 billion of members’ assets. First State Super will merge with VicSuper to create Australia’s third largest profit-to-member super fund, managing $120 billion in retirement savings.

Other mergers are in the works as the $2.7 trillion industry consolidates. The $45 billion Hostplus and Club Super have finalised their merger and Tasplan is planning a tie-up with MTAA Super to create a $22 billion fund.

Equip Super and Catholic Super have also joined forces in a landmark $26 billion deal.

A recent McKinsey & Co. study that showed that the world’s largest pension funds were the top performers in their markets.

Elizabeth Fry has been a financial journalist for more than 25 years and has written for a number of publications, including CFO, The Financial Times and The Australian Financial Review.
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