annual member meeting

Missed out on attending the HESTA FY23 Annual Member Meeting? We've captured all the highlights for you here.



Debby Blakey: Good evening. I'm Debby Blakey, HESTA CEO. Thank you for joining us and welcome to HESTA's financial year 2022-23 Annual Member Meeting. I'm pleased to present to you tonight on how we've delivered value to you during the last financial year. Every one of our members help shape our fund, and we understand each of you has unique circumstances, challenges, and goals for the future. So, while we are very proud of the significant scale of investments in the fund, we are equally aware that everything we do is entirely for the benefit of each one of our one million plus members. Achieving the best financial outcomes for you is our number one concern, and we take great pride in tailoring our member services to meet your needs both now and for the future you. I hope that throughout the course of this meeting that our commitment to supporting you shines through in our service offerings and in our investment performance over the past financial year. I want to start by acknowledging the traditional owners of the lands on which we are meeting right across Australia. I pay my personal respect and HESTA's respect to elders past, present, and emerging, and to all Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander people joining us tonight.

And I'm thrilled to have our HESTA Chair and Directors, Company Secretary, Executives, Auditor, leadership team, and many other HESTA colleagues here with us this evening, and thank you all for joining us virtually.

As I've said, our members are the reason HESTA exists. We invest in and for people who make our world better. And by choosing HESTA, you're choosing a top-performing industry super fund that works to deliver strong long-term returns while also contributing to a more sustainable world. This is the essence of what we call Super with impactTM.

It's our way of supporting our members to face the future with confidence, of being a gutsy advocate for a fair and a healthy community, and of delivering investment excellence with impact.

Tonight, you'll hear from our Chair, Nicola Roxon; the Chair of our Investment Committee, Sue Dahn; our Chief Investment Officer, Sonya Sawtell-Rickson; and finally, our Chief Strategy Officer, Sam Harris. You'll also be able to ask our executive team, directors, and auditor questions, and these can be sent at any time during the meeting. We'll answer as many questions as we can tonight, but please be assured your questions will be answered and published on our website within 30 days.

Before I continue, I do need to mention that everything we say tonight is general in nature. It doesn't take into account your personal financial situation.

Strong long-term returns are one very tangible way that HESTA help you grow your long-term retirement savings. You will hear about our investment performance and our investment strategy from Sonya and Sue shortly. But given how important returns are in supporting our members to face the future with confidence, I wanted to mention the investment return for our HESTA Super Balanced Growth option, which is our MySuper authorised default option. HESTA Super Balanced Growth had a strong year returning 9.59% for the year. And over 10 years, HESTA Super Balanced Growth delivered an average of 8.02% per annum to members to the 30th of June 2023. And that was an enormous privilege to welcome our one millionth member last February. As our fund has grown, we have gained access to economies of scale leading to cost efficiencies, and we've also negotiated lower fees with some of our investment managers. HESTA members can be assured that they have chosen a fund committed to strong, long-term financial outcomes and quality products and services. This has been recognised by independent industry experts. During the last financial year, we received the top rating from agencies including Chant West, SuperRatings, SelectingSuper, Heron, and Rainmaker. And receiving this type of recognition really does reaffirm our commitment to our members. And no matter what stage of life you're in, we can help make a meaningful impact on your confidence in planning for the future.

We know our members are connecting with us online more than ever, so we want to make your experience with your super as easy and efficient as possible. In June last year, we announced our partnership with Grow Inc, our future outsourced administration services provider. The move to Grow will help HESTA to cost-effectively provide personalised, seamless experiences using various channels and at scale to our members. The Grow platform is expected to provide the flexibility for us to innovate faster and more efficiently. Personalised digital support options for members is one of our top priorities and our Future Planner tool does just that. It helps you project your estimated retirement, gives you access to an advice library, and allows you to create an action plan and goals for yourself, all in a few clicks. Essentially, it puts you in control to make informed choices about your financial future. And Future Planner's popularity speaks for itself. Already, we've seen almost 200,000 members using it since its launch in August 2021.

One of the things I'm particularly proud of is the role HESTA plays in calling out inequities that impact our members. Ongoing pay, gender, and structural inequities remain in Australia's income and tax system, and these flow through to superannuation. Our advocacy aims to address these systemic issues that risk the financial security of our members. As an example, the gender pay gap and career interruptions due to caring responsibilities, see Australian women retiring on average with around a third less super than men. And this is why we are proud to advocate on issues that matter for our members, such as for the government to pay super on the Commonwealth Parental Leave Pay Scheme, and recognition in the super system for time out of paid work for parents.

And while we welcomed a range of measures introduced in the last Federal Budget, we do feel they can go further, so we will continue to publicly push for urgent action to address longstanding super inequities.

I'm going to change pace now and talk about HESTA's approach to achieving investment excellence. And it might come as a surprise to hear that there are around 143 super funds in Australia, excluding self-managed super funds. And we are proud that we've received many of the super sector's highest accolades over the years for our investment excellence. HESTA was one of the first super funds to receive research company's SuperRatings  20-year Platinum Performance rating for our accumulation product, the highest rating possible. And we are one of only six funds to have received a platinum rating every year since the inception of these awards back in 2004.

And according to SuperRatings, HESTA's Super Balanced Growth option was ranked in the top 10 investment options over 3, 5, 7, 10, and 20-year time periods to the end of June 2023. We were also awarded the SuperRatings Net Benefit award again in 2022 while Product Review again awarded us Best Superannuation Fund in the Industry Super category. These awards matter to us because they speak to what we have and are delivering to our HESTA members.

One of the things we have worked on in recent years is deepening our understanding the role we can have in delivering innovative investment solutions, to deliver strong long-term returns, as well as help addressing some of Australia's most pressing social issues, many of which directly impact our members. For example, HESTA worked alongside specialists in the affordable housing space to launch Super Housing Partnerships, which is an affordable housing investment manager through which HESTA intends to invest $240 million in build-to-rent opportunities.

This is a significant step in HESTA realising its vision to create strong stable returns for members while also supporting the huge need for affordable and secure housing. And a great example of our Super with impactTM commitment. And, of course, there are many other examples, a significant one being the role we will have as a large global investor in supporting the orderly, timely, and equitable transition to a low carbon future. And you will hear more about this from Sue.

It's been a pleasure to present this snapshot of our 2023 financial year to you. And I hope you have a strong sense of how we're constantly working to maximise your financial outcomes, and to support you in facing the future with confidence. Thank you for entrusting HESTA with your retirement savings.

Before I hand over to our chair, Nicola Roxon, I would like to thank Nicola and the whole HESTA board for their support and the expert guidance that they provide. Their insights and their knowledge have been fundamental to setting HESTA up for long-term success, and helping us to make a real difference to the financial future of every member. And as an exec team and an organisation, we are extremely grateful for their incredible contribution. On that note, I'd like to warmly introduce our Chair, Nicola Roxon.

Nicola Roxon: Thanks, Debby, for that excellent overview of HESTA's performance for the last financial year. I'd also like to take the opportunity to thank you, your executive team, and all of our HESTA colleagues for your commitment to our members over the last financial year. The Board acknowledges your unrelenting focus on strengthening our fund and doing everything you can to positively impact our members' financial futures.

Good evening members. It's an honour and privilege to Chair HESTA. I also want to reiterate that our members are at the centre of every decision we make at HESTA. Our focus is always to act and make decisions in your best financial interests.

Before I start, I want to acknowledge the significant workforce shortages, funding constraints, and cost of living pressures impacting workers in the health and community services sector. We know it continues to be a challenging time for many and we applaud your resilience.

Thank you for your collective dedication to supporting the well-being of our community. Superfund members place an enormous amount of trust in their funds with the expectation that their fund will diligently manage and grow these savings over the long term. This trust is central to the peace of mind and confidence that HESTA members have in planning for their retirement years. The Board acknowledges and appreciate the trust that our members place in HESTA, and we want you to know that we are committed to upholding that trust through our continued focus on transparency, integrity, and excellence in all that we do.

At HESTA, our strategy is focused on growth and strengthening our deep alignment with our members and the sectors that we serve. This past financial year, we've seen pleasing organic growth as well as the merger with Mercy Super, a fund strongly aligned with our member focus, purpose, and values. Our two funds have a proud legacy of serving those working in the health and community services sector. And the merger means our members will continue to benefit from being part of a leading superannuation fund and enjoy reduced fees as a result of the economies of scale that Debby spoke about earlier. And we're committed to continually evolving HESTA's responsible investment approach. Our strategic priorities for the coming years will be strongly informed by these challenges and the investment opportunities that they offer.

Another strategic focus area for HESTA is making the super system more equitable for our members and creating a system that better serves their best financial interests. This is why in February 2023, we welcomed the Commonwealth Government's proposed objective for the superannuation system, which is to preserve savings, to deliver income for a dignified retirement alongside government support in an equitable and sustainable way. Legislating the Objective of Super will provide a shared understanding for members, funds, regulators, and the Government about the very purpose of the system, and a clear measure against which to consider any future policy changes.

While supporting the proposed wording of the objective, we did call for further explanatory materials to clarify what equity means and to clearly reference the elimination of the gender super gap, and the need to avoid entrenching or creating inequity for women, aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and those on low incomes. We know cost of living pressures have been significant for many of our members. That's why we partnered with a not-for-profit social enterprise website in June 2023, and it's accessible directly from the HESTA website.

Ask Izzy allows our members to search for over 400,000 social services, including financial assistance, food relief, and family violence support. This partnership helps members to connect with those support agencies as a first port of call without affecting their retirement savings.

I'd now like to turn to governance. Good governance is critical to operating a financially successful and sustainable fund for our members. At HESTA, effective governance ensures that decision-making is guided by strong principles aligned with the expectations of stakeholders. Our Trustee Directors provide the expertise and oversight that ensures we always act in the best financial interests of our members and other stakeholders. Our Board comprises two independent directors appointed by the board and 12 representative directors, six member representatives, and six employer representatives. They're appointed under the Equal Representation Model and nominated by eligible health and community services guarantor organisations. This model helps to ensure that both employers and employees have an influence in the governance and decision-making processes of HESTA, fostering a balanced and fair approach to managing members' retirement savings.

I'd like to take this opportunity to warmly welcome Jackie Bennett, who was appointed to the Board in early 2023. Jackie represents a new employer guarantor for HESTA, Early Childhood Australia. I'd also like to welcome Sue Dahn, who joined HESTA in July last year as a new Board member and our new Chair of our Investment Committee. You'll hear from Sue shortly.

I recently had the chance to reflect on our history and it's a history we are so proud of. Since 1987, HESTA has invested in and for people in the health and community services sector. Having Directors appointed from our guarantor organisations in health and community services means our members' needs and the issues they're experiencing are heard and understood, and are integrated into our strategy, governance, and decision-making. I want to thank my fellow Directors for their commitment, passion, skill, and expertise in delivering value and insight to you over the year.

Thank you for joining us tonight. It's been my pleasure to present our strategy, and governance, and to reiterate our deep commitment to your retirement outcomes. I'll now hand it over to the Chair of the HESTA Investment Committee, Sue Dahn, who will talk more about our investment strategy.

Sue Dahn: Thanks, Nicola, and good evening everyone. I am so very pleased to deliver my first address directly to HESTA members as a new Board member and the new Chair of HESTA's Investment Committee, both roles that I commenced last July.

I'd really like to thank the Board and the executive team for their very warm welcome, and especially to acknowledge Mark Burgess, my predecessor for his dedicated service to the fund and its members.

As Chair of the Investment Committee for HESTA, I work closely with the funds' investment executives, the other Committee members, and the whole Board, of course, to oversee the funds in investment program. And together, we continuously refine and enhance our investment strategy and processes as we strive to continue the very proud history of strong long-term investment performance with impact for HESTA members.

It's now my pleasure to highlight some of the successes we achieved during the 2023 financial year and some of the important work that's in progress. So, let's begin with our investment internalisation strategy, which is enabling more investment functions to occur internally at HESTA.

The internalisation strategy is very carefully considered, and it prioritises the areas that we believe add the greatest value for members. The scale of the first part, the Australian equities portfolio managed internally reached $4 billion at the end of the 2023 financial year. And pleasingly, we've made great progress on our internal Australian fixed income and the cash portfolios. So, alongside managing the term deposit strategy in the first half of 2023 calendar year, we executed the first investments into our newly created, internally managed enhanced cash, and Australian fixed income strategies, and that work continues with strong momentum.

We know that it's net returns that are an important measure of value for our members, and that the fees that you pay are part of this equation. So, we continue to focus very sharply on a broad range of initiatives, including internalisation to help reduce the investment costs that are incurred, and these savings are passed onto you.

Over the 2023 financial year, our Balanced Growth MySuper option delivered investment fees and costs of only 0.48%. A great outcome for members in particular when considered in the context of the net 9.59% investment return delivered for the full year.

Our product disclosure statement indicates investment fees and costs, which take into account the five-year average performance fees also reduced from 0.73% to 0.66%, which is a 10% reduction over the year.

The investment team delivered strong results in the 2023 financial year, and Sonya will outline that in more detail shortly. The Investment Committee is fully focused on continuing to deliver the target investment objectives into the future, and at all of its reviews of the fund's investment strategy, the Committee considers the current market environment and the market outlook. And the ongoing key thematics, which include climate change, digital disruption, geopolitics, and many other thematics.

The Committee considers the expected forward returns as well as the risks across all the various markets segments, and recommends any alterations to the strategic asset allocation targets and ranges to the Board.

Now, at HESTA, we believe that as long-term investors, our members' best financial interests are served by a deep commitment to responsible investment. We are very proud of the progress we've made on our responsible investment commitments over the year, including our climate commitments.

Mitigating climate related risks requires a material and sustained reduction in carbon emissions. Back in 2020, we set an interim target to reduce normalised emissions in our investment portfolio by 33% to 2030, and we were thrilled that we achieved that goal in 2022, a full eight years ahead of the plan.

We also released our second climate change report called Our Path to Net Zero, providing an update on the progress of our climate change transition plan and management of climate related risks and opportunities. Our deep and ongoing commitment to responsible investment in action contributed to HESTA again being recognised in October 2022 as a responsible investment leader by the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia.

I'll just touch briefly on regulation and governance as a final topic. The Investment Committee, along with the Risk Committee, oversee our investment governance arrangements to ensure that HESTA responds proactively to the changing regulatory environment, including ongoing engagement with regulators as appropriate, and that our investment governance arrangements remain fit for purpose as we evolve. Each year, super funds are assessed on whether their MySuper product achieves a net return above or below APRA's performance test benchmark. Pleasingly, I can confirm that all HESTA investment options subject to APRA superannuation performance test not only passed but had positive outperformance relative to the test benchmark as at 30 June 2023.

Before finishing may I extend my thanks to you for continuing to trust HESTA with your retirement savings. And now I'd like to pass on to our Chief Investment Officer, Sonya Sawtell-Rickson, to provide some further insight into our investment processes and outcomes. It's an enormous pleasure to work with Sonya, she's such a highly skilled senior investment professional and leads a deeply talented team that delivers such strong results for our members.

Sonya Sawtell-Rickson: Thanks very much, Sue, and good evening everyone.

I'd also like to acknowledge Sue Dahn. We are very fortunate here at HESTA to benefit from the decades of deep experience she brings across superannuation and finance.

Tonight I'm really pleased to be reporting on the strong investment performance for the 2022-23 financial year, but as you know, it is actually the cumulative long-term performance that will make a difference to your retirement. That's why I wanted to start with this chart, which shows the difference of investing in different asset allocations over time.

The purple line shows what $100,000 investment would've delivered if it was invested in HESTA's Balanced Growth MySuper option over the past 20 years. The green line shows the performance of HESTA's low risk Cash and Term Deposits option over the same period. This timeframe has included bouts of market volatility such as the global financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. However, those that maintained their investment in the Balanced Growth option were able to ride through the volatility and realise strong long-term performance generating more than two and a half times the balance of those invested in the Cash and Term Deposits option over the same period.

It is really important to remember when investing for the long-term that a lower risk option may actually be creating long-term risk for your retirement. As such, it's good to review your investment strategy regularly to ensure it remains consistent with your investment objectives. And as a HESTA member, you have access to dedicated super experts, online tools such as Future Planner, and information sessions to help you make an informed decision about your investment options.

Now let's take a look at what happened across our markets last financial year. The key theme of financial year 2023 was heightened inflation, as you can see in the chart. Although inflation peaked in the US in June 2022 at around 9%, inflation continued to rise in many regions thereafter, including in Australia where it rose from near zero in 2020 to reach levels of nearly 8% per annum in December, 2022.

Now high inflation is problematic for both our members and the broader economy as it eats away at purchasing power and increases the cost of living and the cost of doing business. As such, central banks around the globe have been increasing cash rates aggressively to dampen demand and contain inflation. This chart illustrates how steep and rapid these increases in cash rates have been compared to recent history. Here in Australia, the Reserve Bank lifted the cash rate from 0.85% at the start of the financial year to 4.1% as at 30 June 2023, and you can see this in the green chart line in the chart. As you can see, we weren't alone.

This monetary policy trend was consistent across many other developed economies including the United States and Europe. Higher cash rates deliver higher returns on low-risk assets, which is generally positive for savers. Although last year the returns were unfortunately still below the rate of inflation, the rising cash rates trickled into bond markets where we saw bond yields, which is the interest rate earned on lending capital, also continue to rise over the period. This chart shows the movement in global 10-year bond yields over time. Now rising bond yields improve forward returns but are actually negative for bond prices resulting in another soft year of performance for bond markets. Rapidly rising interest rates can create risks for economies as borrowers are subject to higher repayments, which can impact disposable income and consumption.

Similarly, it can impact capital expenditure and investment in the economy as high risk-free rates increase the return needed to invest. Rising interest rates can also highlight vulnerabilities in the financial system, and these vulnerabilities were exposed during the year. We saw central banks and regulators having to intervene in the United Kingdom where there was turmoil in the bond market and in the United States where we saw a regional banking crisis emerge.

Despite these adjustments and the associated volatility, growth assets were generally strong over the financial year. Equity markets were the standout with Australian Shares delivering 14.4% and International Shares hedged back to Australian dollars, delivering 14.6%, both outperforming their 10-year averages. Foreign Currency also had a strong year at nearly 6% as did Global Infrastructure at 9.7%. Australian Unlisted Property was an exception delivering marginally negative returns for the year as it adjusts to rising interest rates and hybrid ways of working in a post COVID world.

The rising cash rate saw Cash deliver one of its highest annual returns in a decade. Unfortunately, the associated rising bond yields resulted in low returns from both Australian and Global Bonds.

So let's now take a look at what all of this has meant for our HESTA investment options. I'm delighted to share that our Accumulation and Transition to Retirement Ready-Made investment options performed strongly in the financial year. And importantly in this environment all HESTA super ready-made investment options exceeded their 10-year inflation linked investment objectives. Pleasingly all Ready-Made options also outperformed the median peers over 1, 3, 5, and 10 year periods, and in fact were top quartile versus peers over 5 and 10 years to 30 June 2023.

This strong absolute performance and strong historical performance relative to objectives and peers over the long term demonstrates how HESTA has helped members create a better financial future. As Debby mentioned, this is why we were one of the first super funds to receive SuperRatings 20-year Platinum Performance rating for our industry and personal products.

As you heard from Debby in terms of actual performance numbers, our MySuper Balanced Growth option, where most HESTA members are invested, returned 9.59% over the year to 30 June 2023 and an annualised 8.02% per annum over the 10-year period to 30 June. Our Sustainable Growth option over one year to 30 June 2023 delivered 9.94% and over 10 years it has an annualised 9.28% per annum to 30 June 2023. Now turning to our next most selected Ready-Made investment options, our High Growth option returned 12.58% over one year and 9.46% per annum over 10 years to 30 June 2023. Our Conservative option delivered 5.74% over one year and an average annual return of 5.45% per annum over 10 years to 30 June 2023.

Pleasingly these options have also exceeded their peers and 10 year inflation linked investment objectives. Moving to our Retirement Income Stream options, the theme is very similar. As a reminder, our Retirement Income Stream and Term Allocated Pension products do not incur income tax on returns, which contributes to some of the relative performance outcomes. They may also have some differences in asset allocations, which can impact relative performance through time for our members in the retirement phase, our HESTA Income Stream Ready-Made strategy is comprised of two investment options, the Income Stream Balanced Growth and the Income Stream Conservative. With that context, our retirement Income Stream Balanced Growth option returned 11.79% for the financial year '23. While the retirement Income Stream Conservative option delivered 6.4% over the same timeframe. Both these options delivered returns above their inflation linked 10-year objectives and above the median peers.

As we look into the future, it is clear to us that long-term investors like HESTA must consider and have a role in addressing systemic risks. Systemic risks are those that threaten the functioning of the economic, environmental and wider social systems on which long-term investment performance relies. HESTA endorses the ambitions of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, and prioritises action on a number of SDGs as shown on the slide.

Tonight, however, I want to touch on SDG3, good health and wellbeing, which aims to enable economic growth by improving productivity and reducing economic risks caused by illness.

One way we advocate for good health and wellbeing is through active ownership, engaging with companies and voting with respect to our portfolio holdings. Our current area of focus has been antimicrobial resistance, or AMR. AMR is caused by the misuse and overuse of antibiotics resulting in high resistance to antibiotics with associated health implications. It is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a global health threat and the need to prioritise more responsible usage of antibiotics throughout the medical industry and food supply chain is critical. AMR is a systemic risk that has the potential to cause material financial impacts. That's why as shareholders, we are raising awareness of this important issue and using our rights to lodge targeted shareholder resolutions to improve responsible antibiotic use practises within companies routinely using antibiotics.

We also invest capital in this segment in areas such as healthcare property, health tech, and life sciences. By combining investment excellence with impact, we believe our members capital can achieve strong financial performance while contributing to a more sustainable future. To close, I want to share how we're prepared for future market conditions. As we've already explored, we've experienced one of the most aggressive interest rate hikes in recent history. These higher interest rates are likely to continue to impact the real economy and demand into 2024. On the positive side of the ledger, generative artificial intelligence has the potential to provide a much-needed productivity boost to the global economy, and we have seen financial markets pricing this potential with enthusiasm. Whatever the market delivers, we will continue to actively take advantage of opportunities and adjust to emerging risks to ensure we are well-placed to deliver the long-term investment objectives to help our more than 1 million HESTA members face the future with confidence.

Thank you for investing with us. I'll now hand over to our Chief Strategy Officer, Sam Harris.

Sam Harris: Thank you, Sonya. It's a great privilege to be here tonight to discuss HESTA's approach to supporting you, our members, face your future with confidence.

By listening to you, we can better respond to your needs and develop the right support for you. We understand that these needs can change overnight and we understand it's a tough economic environment to live and work in right now. What mattered to you last year or even last month may look a little different now. That's why we listen throughout the year via our member research and insights programme.

We call it the Have a Say member community allowing us to gauge members' views on many topics. This helps us better understand how our members are feeling and to see the HESTA experience through their eyes. Through this, we received feedback from over 40,000 members last financial year. It informs how we can improve and build new services to help you engage with us and your super. In turn, helping you act more easily to improve your financial future.

One example of this is how many of you told us you prefer using HESTA's Digital services. In fact, 79% of our Have a Say member community prefer this way of engaging with HESTA, so we've continued to invest in our digital capability to build faster, smarter, and more personalised online solutions. An example of this is a new personal advice journey and Future Planner with tailored transition to retirement information for members who are at that stage of life.

In addition to our app, other recent digital initiatives include a new online process for members wanting to change their name after they get married, of which over 3000 members have done so to date. In most cases, you can now submit your new details via your online account, meaning name changes are more efficient and avoiding the processing times experience with paper-based forms. It also removes barriers to using other digital services like combining super. This financial year we also introduced an interactive feature on our website's Contact us page so you can find answers to your questions more quickly.

You choose the reason for calling us and we'll fast track to the team best place to resolve your query. We've also introduced fast facts on certain topics such as making additional contributions. These aim to help you resolve more of your inquiries online, reducing your need to pick up the phone. We're committed to helping you face the future with confidence and our advice service aims to ensure you get the relevant support you need from self-service online to advice sessions in your workplace, we are here for you.

But we also recognise that sometimes you'll require help and advice beyond your super and retirement needs and beyond what we can provide to you. And often when you need that guidance knowing where to start can be the hardest part. We want to help you take that first step, help you find the support that you need, when you need it, and link you with reliable providers. That's where our referral partnerships come in.

We've continued to build out a referral network over the past financial year, launching four new partnerships to help our members, such as guidance on choosing home or aged care services, because we know from the members we surveyed 92% expressed some concern about the availability of aged care services. Other support you can access through our referral partnerships include estate planning advice, help with the age pension applications or local financial assistance and mental health counselling, some of which may incur an additional cost.

Now shifting our focus back to super. To help those getting closer to retirement, we ran our second Financial Wellbeing Insights email series in the first half of 2023. It shared general information on how members can build their super, how to approach investments, preparing for the unexpected and who gets their super after they're gone. The second series followed encouraging feedback from members who experienced the first phase in 2022, who indicated feeling more financially confident at the end of the series compared to how they felt at the start. From the second phase we saw a range of positive actions taken by members such as they are 100% more likely to take up advice compared to those who do not receive the content.

There are many common questions members ask us with regards to retirement, so we've recently introduced information sessions designed for those of you who are already retired or if it's something you're starting to think about. Held across the country and online, the sessions are provided as part of your HESTA membership and cover topics including navigating Centrelink and how estate planning works. To sign up for one of these sessions and to learn about how we can help you confidently plan for your future, head to the advice page on our website and click on information sessions.

Thank you for your time this evening and I look forward to continuing to listen to and learn from our more than 1 million members. I'll now hand back to Debby. Thank you.

Debby Blakey: Thank you, Sam, and all the other presenters. That now concludes the formal presentations of our meeting and I hope you found them insightful and thank you all for joining us today. I want to reiterate how proud and delighted the whole HESTA team feels that you have entrusted us to safeguard and grow your long-term retirement savings. It is a responsibility that we do not take lightly, as you've heard from our presenters tonight. 




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