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29th Heron Quality Star Ratings Released

Released: 1 July, 2020

2020/21 Calendar Year Assessment

Leading independent superannuation and actuarial consultancy, The Heron Partnership, has released its latest half-yearly assessment of superannuation funds for calendar year 2020/21

Originally launched in 2006, the 2020/21 calendar year ratings are the 29th public assessment undertaken by Heron. These ratings covered 107 major superannuation products, which included 37 commercial products, 40 industry funds, 8 Government designated funds, 22 specialist "corporate" products and 62 pension products.

The Heron Partnership's Managing Director, Chris Butler, said, "The primary goal of the Heron rating process is to provide a realistic and objective representation of product strengths and weaknesses. Our ratings are based on feature specific benchmarks that guide our assessors to rate each feature objectively.

Of the 107 superannuation products assessed, 76 have been judged as outstanding quality and awarded 5 Heron Quality Stars. This in itself is an endorsement of the overall quality of the superannuation products available."

The following table lists the superannuation products that received Heron's highest rating.

Outstanding Superannuation Products

AMG Super - Corporate Super legalsuper
AMG Super - Personal Super LGIAsuper
AMP CustomSuper Local Government Super
AMP Flexible Super LUCRF
AMP Flexible Super - Employer Macquarie Wrap - Super Accumulator
AMP MyNorth Macquarie Wrap - Super and Pension Consolidator
AMP SignatureSuper Macquarie Wrap - Super and Pension Manager
AMP SignatureSuper Select Media Super - Employer Sponsored Account
AMP Summit - Personal Super Mercer SmartSuper Plan - Employer Section
ANZ Smart Choice Super (Employer Sponsored) Mercer Super Trust - Corporate Superannuation Division
Asgard Elements Super Mine Super
Asgard Employee Super MLC MasterKey Business Super
Asgard eWRAP Super MLC MasterKey Super Fundamentals
Asgard Infinity eWRAP Super MTAA Super
AustralianSuper Personal Plan netwealth Super Accelerator Core - Employer Sponsored Super
AustralianSuper Plan netwealth Super Accelerator Plus - Employer Sponsored Super
AustralianSuper Public Sector Division netwealth Super Wrap - Employer Sponsored Super
AustralianSuper Select NGS Super
Bendigo SmartStart Super OneAnswer Frontier Personal Super and Pension
BT Super Plum Super - Corporate Division
BT Super for Life Plum Super - Personal Division
CareSuper Employee Plan Prime Super (Health Division)
CareSuper Personal Plan Prime Super (Prime Division)
Catholic Super QSuper - Accumulation Account
Colonial First State FirstChoice Employer Super REST Corporate
Colonial First State FirstChoice Wholesale Personal Super REST Super
EISS Super Russell Investments Master Trust - iQ Super - Employer
Equip MyFuture Russell Investments Master Trust - iQ Super - General
Equip MyFuture - Corporate Russell Investments Master Trust - iQ Super - Saver
First State Super smartMonday DIRECT
HESTA smartMonday PRIME
Hostplus Sunsuper for life
Hostplus Executive Sunsuper for life Business
Hostplus Personal Super Plan Sunsuper for life Corporate
IOOF Employer Super Tasplan
IOOF Personal Super Telstra Super - Personal Plus
IOOF Pursuit Focus Personal Superannuation UniSuper Accumulation 1
IOOF Pursuit Select Personal Superannuation VicSuper FutureSaver

MySuper Investment Option

Heron has again undertaken an assessment of each products MySuper investment option. For their MySuper rating Heron considers the type of option (LifeStages or Single Diversified), the reliability of the historical return history, the TAA range, the level and type of active/passive management, actual or indicative historical investment performance, ease of understanding and fee based on the PDS disclosure. In addition, in assessing the LifeStages options Heron considered whether the structure included cohorts, the cohort age band period and the cohort curve shape.

Based on this assessment criteria, Heron awarded 5 Stars to the following 28 products.

Outstanding MySuper Option

AMG Super - Corporate Super IOOF Employer Super
ANZ Smart Choice Super (Employer Sponsored) LUCRF
AustralianSuper Plan Media Super - Employer Sponsored Account
Bendigo SmartStart Super MTAA Super
BUSSQ MySuper NGS Super
CareSuper Employee Plan Prime Super (Health Division)
Cbus Industry Super QSuper - Accumulation Account
Club Plus Super Rest Super
EISS Super Sunsuper for life
Equip MyFuture Tasplan
First State Super UniSuper Accumulation Super (1)
HESTA VicSuper FutureSaver
Hostplus Vision Super - Vision Personal
Intrust Super WA Super (MySuper)

The assessment of personal and corporate superannuation products undertaken by Heron covers about 130 key product features that are grouped under 5 Areas of Importance of Investment Arrangements, Insurance, Contributions, Ancillary Benefits, and Communications. Investments and Insurance have the greatest impact on a product's rating with weightings of 55% and 30% respectively.

Based on Heron's numeric rating the following products have been designated as Top Ten Products for Investment Features and as Top Ten Products for Insurance Features.

In alphabetical order the Top 10 Personal and Corporate Products in respect to Investment Features are:

Top 10 Investment Features

Personal Corporate
AustralianSuper Plan AMP Flexible Super - Employer
BT Panorama Super AMP SignatureSuper
CareSuper Personal Plan Asgard Employee Super
Hostplus AustralianSuper Select
IOOF Personal Super CareSuper Employee Plan
Macquarie Wrap - Super and Pension Consolidator IOOF Employer Super
Macquarie Wrap - Super and Pension Manager MLC MasterKey Business Super
Mercer SmartSuper Plan - Individual Section Plum Super - Corporate Division
Plum Super - Personal Division Sunsuper for life Business
Sunsuper for life Sunsuper for life Corporate

In alphabetical order the Top 10 Personal and Corporate Products in respect to Insurance Features are:

Top 10 Insurance Features

Personal Corporate
Asgard Elements Super AMP SignatureSuper
Asgard eWRAP Super Asgard Employee Super
Asgard Infinity eWRAP Super BT Super
legalsuper IOOF Employer Super
netwealth Super Accelerator Core - Employer Sponsored Super Mercer Super Trust - Corporate Superannuation Division
netwealth Super Accelerator Plus - Employer Sponsored Super MLC MasterKey Business Super
netwealth Super Wrap - Employer Sponsored Super Plum Super - Corporate Division
NGS Super Russell Investments Master Trust - iQ Super - Employer
Telstra Super - Personal Plus smartMonday PRIME
VicSuper FutureSaver Sunsuper for life Corporate

The Pension products rated as "outstanding quality" and therefore awarded 5 Heron Quality Stars are (in alphabetical order), as follows.

Outstanding Pension Products

AMP Flexible Lifetime Allocated Pension Plan Intrust Super Super Stream Pension
AMP Signature Super Allocated Pension IOOF Pursuit Focus Allocated Pension
AMP Summit Personal Pension IOOF Pursuit Select Allocated Pension
Asgard Elements Pension Account legalsuper Pension
Asgard eWRAP Pension Media Super Pension
Asgard Infinity eWRAP Pension MLC MasterKey Pension Fundamentals
AustralianSuper Choice Income MLC Navigator Retirement Plan Series 2 - Pension Service
BUSSQ Pension MLC Wrap Super - Pension Service
Caresuper Pension NGS Super Account Based Pension
Colonial First State - FirstChoice Pension OnePath OneAnswer Frontier Pension
EISS Pension Prime Super Income Streams
Equipsuper Account Based Pension Rest Pension
HESTA Income Stream Sunsuper for Life - Income Account
Hostplus Pension Plan Vision Income Streams

The Heron Quality Star Ratings have 5 levels as follows:

Rating Definition
5 Stars Outstanding
4 Stars Commendable
3 Stars Good
2 Stars Poor
1 Star Unacceptable

Details of the Heron Quality Star Ratings, including the assessment methodology and products awarded with 5 Heron Quality Stars, are featured on The Heron Partnership's web site and their Heron Advisor product research and comparison service.