Two superannuation funds have extended the timeline of their planned merger due to the coronavirus pandemic.
MTAA Super and Tasplan were originally set to merge by 1 October, but the deal will now be completed no earlier than 31 March.
The decision came from MTAA Super chief executive Leeanne Turner and Tasplan CEO Wayne Davy who made a joint recommendation to the chairs of both boards, with sustained market volatility and concerns about supplies of specialist services being key factors behind the extension.
Ms Turner acknowledged the recent restrictions as a result of the virus have placed strain on people.
“Clearly things have changed rapidly for all Australians in the last few weeks,” she said.
“We recognise the pressure that this is putting on our members and our staff, both at work and at home. We think extending the merger timeline will ease stress and help our staff better manage workloads and their personal arrangements.”
Mr Davy added support is a key priority for both funds, with members expressing concern about market volatility and financial hardship.
“Understandably, members are concerned about their retirement savings. And we’ll likely see an increase in the number of people facing financial difficulties in the coming weeks and months,” he said.
“By extending our merger timeline we can focus on getting members the service, advice, and support they need right now. That’s always been a priority for us, but now it’s more important than ever.”
Despite the new timeline, Ms Turner said the decision behind the merger and the benefits to members of both funds remain unchanged.
“We still believe the merger is in the best interest of members of both funds,” she said.
“A combined fund will provide greater efficiencies, improved products and services, increased capability, and better value to members. So, we remain fully committed to the merger – just with an extended time.”
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
You can contact her on [email protected].
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