18 March 2020
How do I contact BUSSQ?
When can I talk to someone?We are experiencing a higher than normal volume of enquiries, but we are doing our very best to respond as quickly as possible.
If you are seeking information about your investments, we are currently able to respond within two business days. We expect this turnaround time to increase if we continue to experience a large volume of enquiries.
How can I get advice?You can access general advice at no cost from BUSSQ by calling 1800 692 877.
If you are looking for more complex financial advice this is provided through our company Skylight Financial Solutions.
Financial advice appointments with Skylight Financial Solutions are still going ahead as planned, but will take place over the phone in order to protect the health of our employees and members. You can book an appointment with Skylight online by calling 1800 759 544.
How much have I lost?
Share markets are volatile, and it’s likely you will see the volatility we’ve experienced lately reflected in your account balance. However, it’s important to realise that you haven’t actually lost anything unless you transfer, switch or sell your investments.
If you make a panicked decision to switch and move all your money into the ‘safety’ of cash, you’ve locked in your losses at a time when the share market is down. You’ll then miss out on the upswings that occur eventually after every crash.
On the graph below, you can see the impact the GFC had on the BUSSQ Balanced Growth fund unit price. While the impact was dramatic at the time, over the long term, this has seen a gradual increase in the unit price.
So while we understand it is concerning when you see the impact that recent losses have had on your account balance, we urge you not to make any impulsive decisions before talking to us or getting financial advice.
What is BUSSQ doing to protect my balance?Like all superannuation funds, the impact of COVID-19 has meant BUSSQ has experienced short term negative returns over this recent period.
We have the following measures in place to protect us as best as possible in these volatile times:
• Not all money being invested in shares.
• Diversification across other assets including property, infrastructure, agriculture, cash and fixed interest.
• Our active investment management allowing us to closely follow the situation daily and act where suitable.
For more information, view the Investment Market Update from BUSSQ’s Chief Investment Officer Simon Mather.
How do I make an investment switch?
We understand during uncertain and volatile times, the first reaction is to switch investment options. However, sometimes this isn’t the best option. For example, switching to a safe investment option like cash will only lock in the losses that have occurred already and may place you in a position of missing out on a market recovery.
If you are thinking about switching investment options at this time, we encourage you to talk to us before switching. BUSSQ provides advice over the phone at no cost about choosing investment options.
You can switch your investment option at any time and at no cost, however you should consider any long-term ramifications that switching may have.
The best way to change your investment option is online, simply log into MemberAccess and follow the prompts. Alternatively, you can do it over the phone by calling 1800 682 877, however due to a high volume of calls at this time, we encourage you to do it online to make the process faster.
You will receive a confirmation of your switch following the receipt of your request.
Please note - If you are in our MySuper product and would like to make an investment switch out of Balanced Growth, you will need to upgrade to our Premium Choice product first. It costs nothing to upgrade and can be done over the phone. Find out more.
In times of market volatility, it is important to consider timing if you are planning on making an investment switch. Switches are effective from the day following the declaration of the next unit price.
Unit prices are declared weekly on a Wednesday. All switch requests received in the period 6.01pm Friday to 6pm the next Friday (EST/EDT*), will be processed with an effective date as at the next Wednesday, following the declaration of the weekly unit price.
To get advice about switching investment options, call us on 1800 692 877.
How long does it take for an investment switch to come into effect?Below is an example of how the timing around an investment switch works:
If you make a switch from Balanced Growth (where you are invested in the share market) into Cash on a Wednesday, you are still invested in Balanced Growth until 5pm Friday night (EST) that week. So you will be impacted from market movements from the week.
How the transaction works is that at 5pm Friday (EST) you exit the market, over the next few days the transaction is calculated, and the holdings are valued, and on the following Thursday you will see these holdings are switched into Cash.
So if you switch to Cash this week and see the share market fall next week, you are not receiving the negative movement in your account. And if you switch to Cash and the share market recovers next week, you are not receiving that recovery.
Why does BUSSQ utilise weekly unit pricing?
BUSSQ operates under a weekly unit pricing cycle which is different to some other funds. The benefits of weekly unit pricing are:
• It is cheaper for the fund to run and therefore is cheaper to members
• It allows for fewer errors in pricing
• It better reflects the value of our portfolio
What is happening to my balance?
You may have noticed that recent events on the share market have affected your balance. This is how your balance is calculated.
The value of units
The nature of investment markets means that the value of your units can rise or fall. The unit price reflects the performance of the investments in the option(s) you have chosen, after estimated investment charges and tax have been deducted. This is why it is important for you to choose an investment option that you are comfortable with, as different options have different levels of volatility.
Determining the unit value
The unit value is determined by taking into account the change in value of investments within the relevant investment option and deducting estimated investment and management charges, reserves and tax. The unit price is calculated weekly.
We understand in times of market volatility members become nervous, so we will be providing regular investment updates. Please be sure we are doing everything we can to protect your retirement savings.
How do I make a financial hardship or compassionate grounds claim?
The Federal Government has announced temporary changes to the early release of super under compassionate grounds as part of its COVID-19 response.
Commencing from mid-April 2020, the change will allow those affected by the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their super in 2019-2020 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. Find out more.
Read the Federal Government Early Access to Super Fact Sheet.
What Government support is available for businesses, sole traders and employers?
A range of support packages have been announced by the Government for businesses, sole traders and employers and a range of useful information is also becoming available.
Funding and incentives for business with apprentices and trainees through the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.
Preparing a Business Continuity Plan
A Business Continuity Plan can help your business during an incident or crisis. Some useful information on what to consider when preparing a plan is available from Business Queensland.
Will my insurance claim payment be delayed?
What are the reduced minimum payment limits proposed by the Government?
This is the minimum amount you must receive as income in any one financial year from your Income account. These minimums are based on your age and will be reduced by up to 50% for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years.
The reduced minimum payment amounts are shown in the table below.
Age Current minimum percentage of account balance Reduced minimum percentage of account balance for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years Under 65 4% 2% 65 - 74 5% 2.5% 75 - 79 6% 3% 80 - 84 7% 3.5% 85 - 89 9% 4.5% 90 - 94 11% 5.5% 90 and over 14% 7%
The Government are also changing the social security deeming rates which may have an impact on the assistance payments you are able to access through Centrelink. More information on this assistance is available on from the Treasury.
See Your Income account and Covid-19 for more information.
Will I still receive my income account payments?
Yes, all Income account payments are still being paid on time.
Now that COVID-19 has officially declared a pandemic, how does this affect my insurance with BUSSQ?
Your insurance with BUSSQ will continue as usual, with no restriction on pandemic illness for your current insurance arrangements.
Are tests related to covid-19 or hospitalisation & treatment if diagnosed with covid-19 covered under the Policy?
Unfortunately this policy does not cover expenses for testing or hospitalisation, this insurance policy is designed to protect your income if you are unable to work due to illness or injury.
Can I claim for a period of self-quarantine/self-isolation with no diagnosis of covid-19?
No, your insurance cover is designed to provide you with a benefit if you are diagnosed with a medical condition that prevents you from working.
Can I Increase my insurance cover and still be covered?
You are able to apply to increase your insurance cover with BUSSQ at any time, subject to policy terms and conditions. Eligibility to claim on any additional cover you apply for may be affected if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are not ‘at work’ at the time of your application.
Does my quarantine period count towards my waiting period?
No – we only cover injuries and illnesses that have caused you to cease work – we do not cover quarantine periods.
Does this policy cover injury /illness or sickness whilst I am overseas?
We provide 24 hour world-wide cover. This cover is limited to travel of a maximum of 3 months for an Australian Resident.
Will I lose my insurance cover if I’ve lost my employment or my work hours have been reduced?
No. Your insurance cover can continue at the same amount until there are no funds in your account to pay for premiums. If you make a claim you will be required to meet the fund requirements. Please refer to the Insurance Handbook for more information.
Will my insurance be impacted if I apply for early access to my super due to Covid-19?
Your insurance cover will stop as a result of withdrawing funds under COVID-19 early access to super if:
The withdrawal reduces your account balance to zero resulting in the closure of your account.
The withdrawal results in your account not having enough funds to pay insurance premiums.
If your withdrawal of funds results in either of these two situations your insurance cover will stop and we will advise you of this and the date on which your cover stopped, in writing.
If your insurance cover stops you may be able to have your cover reinstated. The details for reinstatement of cover can be found in our Insurance Handbook.
Member & Employer visits
Can I still talk to a BUSSQ member representative?The BUSSQ Bus is still on the road and our member services team are continuing to attend worksites and conduct information sessions. Whilst practicing good hygiene has always been important to us, we are taking extra steps and precautions to protect workers and our staff including:
• Conducting BBQ’s and information sessions in open uncovered areas to allow people to practise social distancing
• Taking extra measures to ensure all surfaces are being cleaned frequently
• Encouraging over the phone servicing if possible. If face to face contact is required, we ask that there is 1.5 metres of separation between each other.
We are committed to our members, and while this is a disruptive time, all of our employees are equipped with the resources and tools to assist you from wherever they are located.
Contact a BUSSQ Member Representative
Can I still contact my Account Manager?We are committed to looking after the health and safety of our members, employers and employees so we are aiming to minimise face to face meetings as much as possible.
We will continue to service our employers and their employees and will be available via mobile or email directly. We have the technical capabilities to service our employers wherever we are and will continue to do so. Your Account Manager will still be your main point of contact.
Contact a BUSSQ Account Manager