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30th Heron Quality Star Ratings Released

Released: 1 February, 2021

2021 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 2021

Originally launched in 2006, the 2021 calendar year ratings are the 30th public assessment undertaken by Heron. These ratings covered 113 major superannuation products, which included 39 commercial products, 49 industry funds, 25 specialist "corporate" products and 67 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 113 superannuation products assessed, 83 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 Accumulation Scheme
AMP Flexible Super (Choice) LUCRF Super
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
ANZ Smart Choice Super for employers and their employees (Employer Sponsored) Mercer SmartSuper Plan - Employer Section
Asgard Elements Super Mercer Super Trust - Corporate Superannuation Division
Asgard Employee Super Mine Super
Asgard eWRAP Super MLC MasterKey Business Super
Asgard Infinity eWRAP Super MLC MasterKey Super Fundamentals
AustralianSuper Personal Plan MLC Navigator Retirement Plan Series 2
AustralianSuper Plan MLC Wrap Super Service Series 2
AustralianSuper Public Sector Division MTAA Super
AustralianSuper Select netwealth Super Accelerator Core - Employer Sponsored Super
AvSuper netwealth Super Accelerator Plus - Employer Sponsored Super
Aware Super netwealth Super Wrap - Employer Sponsored Super
Bendigo SmartStart Super NGS Super
BT Panorama 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 REST Corporate
Cbus Corporate Super REST Super
Cbus Industry Super Russell Investments Master Trust - iQ Super - Employer
Colonial First State FirstChoice Employer Super Russell Investments Master Trust - iQ Super - General
Colonial First State FirstChoice Wholesale Personal Super Russell Investments Master Trust - iQ Super - Saver
EISS Super smartMonday DIRECT
Equip MyFuture smartMonday PRIME
Equip MyFuture - Corporate Sunsuper for life
FIRST Super Sunsuper for life Business
HESTA Sunsuper for life Corporate
Hostplus Tasplan
Hostplus Executive Telstra Super - Personal Plus
Hostplus Personal Super Plan UniSuper Accumulation 1
IOOF Employer Super UniSuper Accumulation 2
IOOF Personal Super UniSuper Personal Account
IOOF Pursuit Focus Personal Superannuation VicSuper FutureSaver
IOOF Pursuit Select Personal Superannuation  

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 43 products.

Outstanding MySuper Option

AMG Super - Corporate Super Media Super - Employer Sponsored Account
AMP Flexible Super - Employer Media Super - Personal Account
ANZ Smart Choice Super for employers and their employees (Employer Sponsored) MTAA Super
AustralianSuper Plan NGS Super
Aware Super Prime Super (Health Division)
Bendigo SmartStart Super Prime Super (Prime Division)
BUSSQ MySuper QSuper - Accumulation Account
CareSuper Employee Plan Rest Corporate
Cbus Corporate Super Rest Super
Cbus Industry Super Russell Investments Master Trust - iQ Super - Employer
Club Plus Super Russell Investments Master Trust - iQ Super - General
EISS Super Russell Investments Master Trust - iQ Super - Saver
Equip MyFuture Sunsuper for life
Equip MyFuture (Corporate) Sunsuper for life Business
FIRST Super Sunsuper for life Corporate
HESTA Tasplan
Hostplus UniSuper Accumulation Super (1)
Hostplus Executive UniSuper Accumulation Super (2)
Hostplus Personal Super Plan UniSuper Personal Account
Intrust Super VicSuper FutureSaver
LGIAsuper Vision Super - Vision Personal
LUCRF Super  

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
Equip MyFuture Asgard Employee Super
Hostplus AustralianSuper Select
IOOF Personal Super Colonial First State FirstChoice Employer Super
Macquarie Wrap - Super and Pension Consolidator / Super and Pension Manager IOOF Employer Super
Mercer SmartSuper Plan - Individual Section Mercer (SmartSuper Plan - Employer Section / Corporate Superannuation Division)
Plum Super - Personal Division MLC MasterKey Business Super
Sunsuper for life Plum Super - Corporate Division
UniSuper Accumulation Super (1) 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 Wrap - Employer Sponsored Super MLC MasterKey Business Super
NGS Super Plum Super - Corporate Division
Telstra Super - Personal Plus Russell Investments Master Trust - iQ Super - Employer
UniSuper Accumulation Super (1) 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 IOOF Pursuit Select Allocated Pension
AMP Signature Super Allocated Pension legalsuper Pension
Asgard Elements Pension Account Media Super Pension
Asgard eWRAP Pension MLC MasterKey Pension Fundamentals
Asgard Infinity eWRAP Pension MLC Navigator Retirement Plan Series 2 - Pension Service
AustralianSuper Choice Income MLC Wrap Super - Pension Service
BUSSQ Pension Netwealth Standard Income Stream
Caresuper Pension NGS Super Account Based Pension
Colonial First State - FirstChoice Wholesale Pension Rest Pension
EISS Pension Russell iQ Retirement
Equipsuper Account Based Pension Sunsuper for Life - Income Account
HESTA Income Stream UniSuper Pension
Hostplus Pension Plan Vision Income Streams
IOOF Pursuit Focus Allocated Pension  

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.