Qantas Super announced on Monday it is seeking a potential merger partner amid a rapid decline in the number of corporate super funds in Australia.
In a short statement, Qantas Super said its readiness to explore a merger has been prompted by a recent review of its scale and future prospects.
“After carefully reviewing Qantas Super’s scale, the fund’s growth path, and the legislative and regulatory environment, the trustee believes it is prudent to explore merger options for the future,” the fund said.
It also cited recent consolidations as having influenced its decision. Namely, as per the statement, over the past two decades, the superannuation industry has been rapidly consolidating and the number of corporate superannuation funds has declined rapidly, going from 761 in 2004 to just 11 in 2022.
Qantas Super, which has 26,300 members and $8.4 billion in assets under management, ranks as one of the country’s largest corporate super funds.
Despite its willingness to merge, Qantas Super chief executive officer Michael Clancy stressed that the fund has high expectations of a possible partner.
“Any potential merger partner would need to demonstrate their ability to administer defined benefit entitlements and provide our members with equivalent rights to benefits they currently have in Qantas Super,” said Mr Clancy.
“We would also seek to improve member services and lower fees and costs. I’m looking forward to leading our exceptional team as we work our way through this important process.”
The statement also highlighted that the Qantas Super trustee board is “acutely aware” of the “privilege and responsibility” of managing the superannuation and retirement savings of Qantas Super’s members and pledged to “always put their best financial interests first”.
Qantas Super was originally established in 1939 as the corporate super plan for current and former employees of Qantas Group.
Mergers and consolidation in the super industry have continued at pace in recent years, as funds are forced to respond to new regulations such as the Your Future, Your Super (YFYS) reforms, and seek out merger partners in the best interests of their members.