Hostplus CEO, David Elia
Hostplus CEO, David Elia

Hostplus CEO David Elia has written to the company’s 1.3 million superannuation members and employers to offer reassurance on the ongoing careful management of all retirement savings in the wake of market volatility surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Industry SuperFund reaffirmed its commitment to work closely with members to provide support through difficult times, including supporting the Australian Government’s initiatives such as permitting early access to limited amounts of superannuation savings across two financial years.

In the letter, Elia said the company is maintaining and carefully managing its investment strategies for all assets in which it invests money, including assessing liquidity and forecasting the fund’s future cash flow requirements. The company said it maintained “ample liquidity” to support members experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic.

While affirming its support for the government-afforded right to access super early, Hostplus provided members with information relating to a number of alternatives, including income support payments such as the JobSeeker allowance, which is being managed through Centrelink. Resources available through The National Debt Helpline and the government-managed MoneySmart website were also put forward.

Lines at Centrelink stretched around the block in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In keeping with our long and proud Industry SuperFund heritage and values, our members and employer partners continue, as always, to be our top priority,” Elia said.

The ongoing provision of customer service was also highlighted in the letter, with Elia stating that the company had transitioned all departments, teams, contact centre staff and other client support roles to a work-from-home footing. The company has received more than 100,000 calls in the last few weeks – some 270% above its normal volumes, sending its thanks to members for their patience during difficult times.

“Despite the increased wait times for phone-based assistance this has led to in some cases, we have been humbled by the support shown to us by our members and employer partners, who have exercised patience and understanding and taken the time to recognise the hard work of our service consultants under challenging circumstances.

“We’ll continue to monitor and review our service strategy during this difficult and testing time for us all and will keep you updated as to any material changes or initiatives as things progress,” Elia added.