The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) and First Nations Foundation (FNF) have announced a two-year partnership that will increase support for the Big Koori Super Day Out.
The event will be held in Sydney and Melbourne with the aim of finding lost super for Indigenous people, consolidating accounts, providing bidding nominations – a large issue in this space – and helping family members access superannuation of family members who have passed away.
“AIST are so generous; they are doing this on a non-exclusive basis, so other trustees can join in and sponsor the event. We could even grow it into an event in every state and territory, if we get enough sponsorship support,” said Amanda Young, chief executive of FNF.
One of the success stories from last year was of an Indigenous gentleman who has been living on the age pension finding out he had a defined benefit account from his 40 years of working as a postman.
“He retired with his wife, and had no idea he had $750,000 in his superannuation account,” Young said.
“If he hadn’t come along on this day, we don’t know whether or not he would have done anything with it. So he went from a $22,000 a year pension straight to $60,000 a year on an annuity from his super.
“That’s the sort of outcome that blows your socks off. But we just don’t know how many [similar people] are out there because of a lack of data.”
Young added Indigenous people had the opportunity to sit down with a superannuation expert, as well as someone from the ATO to find their tax file number, or someone from births, deaths and marriages if they need a proof of ID.
“They could print out ID if they needed it, right there and then, and the whole aspiration and purpose was that people could navigate their issues.
“AIST is leading the industry into initiatives that work and by being non-exclusive in our sponsorship, they will pave the way for interested trustees to engage with the Australian Indigenous community,” said Young.
Tom Garcia, chief executive of AIST, said The Big Koori Super Day Out has been a huge success in the past, and that speakers and chairs at AIST events will be thanked with a donation to First Nations Foundation on their behalf.
“This builds on our ongoing work in the Indigenous super area, including the Indigenous Superannuation Working Group, Indigenous Super Summit and our Reconciliation Action Plan,” Garcia said.
He added the partnership was a positive step toward building better retirement outcomes for Indigenous Australians.
“This new partnership is in line with our commitment to reconciliation and our mission to provide a better retirement outcome for all Australians,” said Garcia. “It will also assist First Australians in their journey to economic freedom, the vision of the First Nations Foundation.”
“Despite more than 25 years of compulsory superannuation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have poorer superannuation outcomes than non-Indigenous Australians – including significantly lower balances at retirement.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about First Nations Foundation or joining the collaboration can visit the First Nations Foundation website at www.fnf.org.au.