While investment markets can fluctuate over the short and medium term, our investments are made with a view to providing sustainable long term returns. We strive to invest your retirement savings in ways that provide the best opportunity for your account to grow at a rate greater than the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”), which is a general measure of inflation, over long periods. This is why the investment objectives that we set for each option are linked to inflation.
However, domestic and global investment markets are currently in a lower growth cycle, due to many different factors including falling interest rates and the uncertainty of the geopolitical environment, which will likely to persist over the foreseeable future. This means that all investors are finding it more difficult to generate strong returns over the medium to long term. In particular, this has reduced the likelihood that we are able to deliver on the investment objectives that we have set for our higher growth options, Ethical High Growth and MyEthicalSuper/Ethical Growth. As we believe investment objectives should act as a fair indication of the returns you can expect from your account over the long term, this reduced likelihood means that we need to react realistically to reflect the risks and objectives in the current investment environment. In response to this, there are two paths the Fund could take – increase the risk taken, or reduce the investment objective.
While all investment carries risk, generally investments that carry a greater level of risk have the potential to generate higher returns. Options with greater exposure to growth assets will tend to provide better returns over the long term, but are also likely to fluctuate more in the short term and experience more periods of negative returns. We do not believe it is appropriate to further increase the level of risk taken by these options in order to try and meet the investment objective.
Instead, we have reduced the investment objective for both options, effective from 1 January 2018, as outlined in the table below.
|Investment Option||Old Objective||New Objective|
|Ethical High Growth||CPI + 4.0% over rolling 10 year periods.||CPI + 3.5% over rolling 10 year periods.|
|CPI + 3.5% over rolling 10 year periods.||CPI + 3.0% over rolling 10 year periods.|
|CPI + 3.5% over rolling 7 year periods.||CPI + 3.0% over rolling 7 year periods.|
We believe that this target is a fairer representation of the returns that can be expected from your account over the long term in light of the current investment environment, and the expected risk and return of the asset classes that the Fund invests in. Importantly, this has not resulted in any changes to the long term asset allocation or the risk profile for these options, and your account is still invested in the same way that it was before the objective was changed.
You do not need to take any specific action in response to this change. If you have any questions about the change or the other investment options that you can invest your account with, you should contact our Member Care Centre on 1300 360 907 or at firstname.lastname@example.org