What the MTAA Super, Tasplan merger will mean for 326,000 members

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MTAA Super and Tasplan will take on a new name on April 1, as their $23 billion merger completes.

The combined fund will be called Spirit Super and have 326,000 members and lower administration fees.

MTAA Super chief executive Leanne Turner, who will be the chief executive of the combined fund, said the new fund's name reflects its ambition to be a national superannuation fund.

mtaa super tasplan merger

"What I love about Spirit Super is it captures the energy of what we're about. It's fresh and optimistic and innovative — everything we want to be," Turner said in a statement.

"The new name also speaks to the past achievements of our funds. MTAA Super and Tasplan are both outstanding funds and take great pride in providing historically strong long-term returns, excellent value and service to our members. As Spirit Super, we will have greater capacity to continue improving our products and service and to really embrace a member-first approach to everything we do."

Turner flagged a drop in administration fees for all Spirit Super members.

"The details are being worked through, but there will be a drop in administration fees when Spirit Super kicks off. So right off the bat, members will start seeing the benefits of the merger," she said.

Tasplan recently told members of its plans to switch from lifecycle MySuper to single strategy, citing higher administration costs for the lifecycle among the reasons. MTAA Super runs its default superannuation product as single strategy.

Tasplan raised its income protection premiums by 7.3% as at end of September 2020. MTAA also increased its death and TPD premiums in February 2020, attributing it to Putting Members Interests First and Protecting Your Super reforms and subsequent decrease in the number of members covered by its group insurance policy.

Tasplan chair Naomi Edwards said: "Our name is our future, so it was important we embraced something our members could be proud of and inspired by. I think Spirit Super nails it. Importantly, our name will also set us apart in the market. This will help us grow, compete, and continue pursuing opportunities in the best interests of our members."

MTAA and Tasplan entered a binding Memorandum of Understanding to investigate a possible merger in June 2019. They committed to the merger in November 2019, setting a deadline for October 1, 2020.

However the merger was pushed back by six months to March 31, 2021 citing COVID-19.

This story first appeared on Financial Standard

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Kanika Sood is the funds management reporter at Financial Standard. Before this, she was a graduate reporter at Bloomberg's Sydney newsroom, primarily covering equities. She has a Master's degree in journalism from Monash.