FAQs

How does the rising or falling Australian dollar impact my investments?

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We invest across various international markets on behalf of our members.

International investments are denominated in their local currency, for example, US dollars. When the Australian dollar rises (strengthens) against another currency, this has the impact of decreasing the Australian dollar value of the international investment. Conversely, when the Australian dollar falls (weakens) against another currency, this has the impact of increasing the Australian dollar value of the international investment.

For example:

  • A parcel of US shares is valued at US$150
  • The exchange rate between the Australian dollar and the US dollar is A$1.00=US$1.05
  • The Australian dollar value of the US shares is (150/1.05) = A$142.86
  • The Australian dollar then strengthens against the US dollar so the exchange rate is A$1.00=US$1.10
  • The Australian dollar value of the US shares is now (150/1.10) = A$136.36

As you can see, a rising Australian dollar (from US$1.05 to US$1.10 in the above example), has the impact of decreasing the Australian dollar value of the investment in US shares by A$6.50 (that is, from A$142.86 to A$136.36).

Learn more about currency management.

How does UniSuper engage the directors and management of companies UniSuper invests in if you suspect they’re doing something wrong?

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As an institutional investor, we are an active share owner and endeavour to drive appropriate change in corporate behaviour over time to protect and enhance the value of our members’ assets. This is a theme central to our investment practices and why we exercise our proxy votes and directly engage with companies where we have concerns around particular practices.

This means we meet with company directors and senior management, where appropriate, to discuss our concerns and determine how the company is going to manage various matters going forward. In addition, our external investment managers often engage with companies we're invested in. We're also a member of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI). ACSI engages (on behalf of its members) with a large number of Australian companies each year on a range of environmental, social and governance matters.

Learn more about responsible investing.

How does UniSuper manage foreign currency exposure within its portfolios?

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Fluctuating exchange rates between the Australian dollar and other global currencies can change the Australian-dollar value of our international investments.

Learn more about currency management.

How has UniSuper’s Balanced option performed relative to peers?

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To see how our Balanced Option has performed, visit Investment options, performance and holdings.

How much money will I need when I retire?

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This depends on your personal situation, preferences and retirement goals. 

When planning your retirement there are many things to think about including:

  • when you plan to retire,
  • how long you’ll be retired,
  • whether you’ll have other income in retirement, and
  • what government benefits you’re entitled to.

Have you thought about what your life after work will look like? Do you plan to go on holiday or spend time with the family or perhaps further your education? No matter how you see your future, setting a budget can help.

You can start by estimating your living costs:

For more information, see How much you'll need for retirement.

If you need help with your retirement income, we recommend you speak to a qualified financial adviser.

How will I know when I’m ready to retire?

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Deciding when to leave the workforce permanently is a personal choice. What prompts you to retire may be different than for someone else. According to the Australian Government’s MoneySmart website, there are a number of “retirement triggers” that may cause you to leave the workforce permanently:

  • You may be unhappy with your work
  • You mightn’t be able to find a job
  • Your kids may have left home
  • You may have had a health scare, or
  • You may have received an unexpected windfall.

For some, however, retiring is about feeling ready. It might be the ‘right time’: your finances are in order and you’re emotionally ready for the changes retirement will bring.

If you need help planning your retirement, we recommend you speak to a qualified financial adviser.

If I start a UniSuper pension, can I still apply for the Government Age Pension?

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Yes, but you’ll still need to meet the government’s age and residence requirements to be eligible. Receiving a UniSuper pension, however, may affect the amount of Government Age Pension you can receive.

The rules around the Age Pension eligibility and its interaction with your UniSuper pension income payments are complex.

Department of Human Services has more information about the Government Age Pension and other government support.

If you need help accessing the Government Age Pension or determining if you’re eligible, we recommend you speak to a qualified financial adviser.

I’m ready to retire. What options does UniSuper offer?

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Start a pension

Pensions, also known as retirement income streams, may be a good way of helping to make your money last as long as you do. Find out more about UniSuper’s pensions.

Access your benefit as a lump sum withdrawal

If you’ve permanently retired or met another condition of release, you can generally access part or all of your super benefit as cash.

This option may appeal to you if you have plans for a large one-off purchase, such as a holiday or new car.

To find out more about accessing some or all of your benefit, see the question, ‘What are the ‘conditions of release?’.

Take your benefit as a pension and a lump sum

You may be able take your UniSuper benefit as a combination of a pension and a lump sum, subject to preservation rules and other eligibility criteria.

For example, you may like to put part of your benefit into an indexed pension (like our Commercial Rate Indexed Pension), some into an account-based pension (like our Flexi Pension), and also withdraw a lump sum of money.

Of course, if you’re not ready to start a pension yet, you could leave your benefit in your UniSuper account.

You’ll find more information in Your guide to a better retirement.

My UniSuper friend or family member has passed away, what do I need to do now?

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Losing a loved one is a very difficult time, often made more stressful by needing to sort out their financial matters and estate.

This information is designed for family and friends of UniSuper members looking for information on the deceased member’s superannuation accounts and related insurance.

Claiming a member’s superannuation benefit

If you intend to make a claim for a UniSuper member’s superannuation benefit, the first step is to call us on 1800 331 685.

We’ll provide you with some information and a form to help you apply for a payment after a member dies. Your completed form will help our Trustee identify all potential beneficiaries who may be entitled to receive part of the deceased member’s UniSuper death benefit.

Importantly, you’ll be required to provide certified copies of important documents relating to the member, as well as a certified copy of your proof of identity. These requirements are detailed in the fact sheet we’ll send you, however to help you make a start, here are some of the types of documents we’re likely to require:

  • Certified copy of the member’s death certificate
  • Certified copy of the member’s marriage certificate or decree nisi (if applicable)
  • Certified copy of the member’s Last Will (if applicable)
  • Certified proof of your identity
  • Letters of administration or probate
  • Details of who is authorised to represent the estate
  • Our claims specific forms

Making an insurance claim

If you intend to make a claim for a UniSuper member’s insurance benefit (such as Death cover), the first step is to call us on 1800 331 685 or email us at claims@unisuper.com.au.

You’ll be transferred to a claims consultant who will provide you with the relevant forms to complete. Our Insurer (TAL Life Limited) might contact you to request additional information to assess the claim.

Once the Trustee has identified all potential beneficiaries, if your claim is approved by our Insurer, the insurance proceeds will be paid to UniSuper and released to you (and/or other beneficiaries). If you don’t agree with the Insurer’s decision in relation to the claim, you can ask for it to be reviewed by the Trustee by emailing claims@unisuper.com.au, calling us on 1800 331 685 or writing to:

Claims Officer

UniSuper

Level 1, 385 Bourke Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

What are the benefits of starting a UniSuper pension from my UniSuper super account?

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Depending on the UniSuper pension product you choose and your individual circumstances, you may:

  • receive generous tax concessions,
  • continue to receive a regular income paid directly to your bank account, and
  • make lump sum withdrawals (if these apply) on top of your regular pension payments.

For more information, learn about UniSuper's pension options and read the relevant Your guide to pensions PDS.