First State Super and WA Super have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore the benefits of their combination


First State Super in talks with WA Super over potential merger. (Credit: Pixabay/Free-Photos)

Australian superannuation funds First State Super and WA Super are exploring a merger to serve nearly 60,000 members in Western Australia.

In this connection, the organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore the benefits of their combination.

First State Super was founded in 1992 to cover the superannuation and retirement needs of the New South Wales’ public sector employees and their families. In 2006, the organisation expanded its operations in other parts of Australia, and in 2011, merged with another pension fund Health Super.

WA Super, which was launched in the early 1980s, is said to be the default fund for local government employees across Western Australia.

The two superannuation funds believe that owing to the increased size and scale post-merger, their members will get strong, sustainable long-term investment returns, reduced fees in the course of time, and access to innovative products and services to help meet their needs.

WA Super CEO Fabian Ross said: “We recognise in the current superannuation environment that size can make a difference. With size comes scale, which can have a significant impact on our members’ fees, returns and ultimately their long-term retirement savings.

“As such, we have determined that a merger with a like-minded super fund would add value not only to our members, but to Western Australians too, as it would enhance the delivery of financial services and education across Western Australia.”

First State Super alongside StatePlus, its financial planning business, is said to have been present in Western Australia for several years, supporting approximately 8,000 members and clients in the state.

After merging with WA Super, the combined superannuation fund could have nearly 60,000 members in Western Australia.

First State Super CEO comments on the potential merger with WA Super

First State Super CEO Deanne Stewart said: “The two organisations share a real cultural and value alignment and an absolute commitment to putting our members first.

“This merger will assist in continuing to build size and scale for the benefit of our members. These benefits include access to a more diverse pool of global investments and lower fees for members, not just investment fees, but also administration and trustee fees, which will ultimately deliver a better outcome to our members.”

In the coming months, the two superannuation funds will carry out a due diligence process so that the proposed merger is in the best interests of their members. The due diligence process is targeted to be wrapped up by mid-year.