We apologise for delays to withdrawals from some defined benefit accounts. Most urgent cases have now been resolved. We're working closely with your employer and our service provider, Iress, to load the remaining contribution files and make outstanding benefit payments. Please read our service update for more information. Thank you again for your patience.

Service update

July 07 2022

Are you experiencing financial stress?

If you're experiencing financial stress due to processing delays for defined benefit accounts, please call us on 1300 650 161 (emergency services members) or 1300 655 476 (state super members) and select option 2.

An emergency escalation process has been established and our member support team can assist.

Updated: 10 June 2022

Dear Members

We'd like to update you on what we're doing to resolve the issues resulting from our recent technology upgrade.

We have made significant progress toward clearing the backlog of member queries. We have redeployed existing ESSSuper team members, hired additional people and brought in temporary staff to work on these issues, and have resolved most urgent cases.

While the vast majority of employer contribution files have now been loaded, including all those from Victoria Police, Fire Rescue Victoria, Ambulance Victoria and the Department of Education and Training, a small number have yet to be submitted. We are working closely with your employers and our service provider, Iress, to get through these as quickly as possible so that the small number of outstanding benefit payments can be made and new pensions/income streams finalised.

We've also doubled the number of people in the Member Service Centre in order to answer your queries much faster. Average wait times are now much lower than they were in the early weeks of the transition.

We understand this situation has been challenging, and we sincerely thank you for your patience during this time. The new systems are faster, more secure and deliver enhanced functionality, including greater visibility of your account and the ability to switch investments more frequently. We're confident that this transition will deliver significant benefits to you, our members.

Yours sincerely

David Daley
Acting CEO


Questions and answers

Updated: 27 April 2022

Are my funds at risk?

Your defined benefit entitlements remain protected and guaranteed by the Victorian government. There is no impact on your defined benefit entitlements and/or lifetime pension entitlements from the current transition.

Please be assured that all ESSSuper Accumulation Plan member accounts continue to be invested in accordance with the investment option you have selected or the default investment option if you didn't exercise an investment choice. Your ESSSuper Accumulation Plan investment options are not affected by the transition. Your ESSSuper Accumulation Plan investment option(s) will fluctuate in accordance with the underlying investment market movements.

All existing lifetime pension and income stream payments continue to be made in accordance with your instructions and on time.

What's causing the problems some ESSSuper members are currently facing?

There were a large number of member requests related to retirement and withdrawals, both before and during the limited service period that was in place to change our administration system.

Due to the complexity of the transition between systems, some employers have had issues submitting cessations and contribution data which has required our immediate attention. This work needs to be completed before we can process the majority of the backlog of member requests. These member requests include cash withdrawals, rollovers, transfers, and the establishment of lifetime and disability pensions and account-based income streams.

In addition, the volume of member enquiries our Member Service Centre has experienced in recent weeks is significantly greater than normal and, as a result, members are experiencing longer than expected waiting times on the phone.

What is ESSSuper doing to address the issues?

We're prioritising members most in need and working with our technology provider (Iress) to clear the backlog, answer queries, and resolve issues as quickly as possible. We are:

  • Dedicating a team to assist employers address errors and submit contributions
  • Systematically working through member enquiries
  • Creating an option in our phone queues devoted to members in financial distress, and
  • Bringing in additional resources to support these processes.

We expect to resolve most issues by the end of May 2022 and are confident the majority, specifically the most urgent requests, will be resolved much sooner.

These delays do not impact most requests processed through Members Online (e.g. investment switches).

Why have employers been impacted, and what's happening?

Employers have been provided with a new online system, Employer Online. This system requires employers to ensure that all member data, contributions, and payments are accurate and provided on time. In the past, we've worked with employers to fix errors to ensure payroll files load successfully and will continue to do so until they're comfortable with the new online system.

Once these transitional data issues have been resolved with employers, the Employer Online system will provide benefits for employers including online forms (as opposed to hard copy), accurate information, and streamlined processes. This will also benefit members through more accurate and up to date information.

Have existing pensions or income stream payments to members been delayed?

No, existing pension and income stream payments have not been impacted. Fortnightly payments are still being paid every second Thursday, and monthly, bi-annual, quarterly, and annual income stream payments are being paid as usual.

If needed, we have payday calendars available to download from our Publications web page.

Who is Iress, and why has ESSSuper engaged them?

Following an extensive tender process, ESSSuper's Board resolved in August 2019 to engage a third-party agency (Iress Ltd) to provide member administration and digital system.

Iress is an Australian company headquartered in Melbourne, providing global software and super administration resources. With origins dating back to 1993, they're now an ASX listed company with more than 2,000 staff. Iress supports a range of services and solutions including technology, consulting, and administration for over 50 super funds.

The benefits of ESSSuper working with Iress enables members to:

  • Transact digitally on their accounts e.g. 25 enquiry types that would previously take days can now be done instantly through Members Online
  • Submit requests outside of business hours, allowing shift workers to engage with their super at a time that's best for them
  • Provide more flexibility with investment options utilising daily unit pricing.

For employers, Iress's Employer Online system will provide benefits in terms of access, transaction speed, quality, and security. We'll be able to better support employers in meeting their legislated superannuation commitments to their employees – our members.

 


Investment returns are not guaranteed. All investments carry risks and past investment performance gives no indication of future performance. Benefits in ESSSuper's Accumulation Plan, Income Streams and Beneficiary Account products are not guaranteed or underwritten by the Victorian Government or ESSSuper, and ESSSuper does not come under the jurisdiction of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority. ESSSuper comes under the jurisdiction of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Emergency Services Superannuation Board (ABN 28 161 296 741) (ESSB), the Trustee of the Emergency Services Superannuation Scheme (ABN 85 894 637 037) (ESSSuper).

Before making a decision about an ESSSuper product or service please consider our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) that is available at esssuper.com.au/pds or by calling 1300 650 161.