Qantas Super Explores Merger Options. Learn more.

In September 2023, Qantas Super’s Trustee announced that we would be exploring options to merge Qantas Super with another superannuation fund.

The Trustee always has Qantas Super’s members’ best financial interests at heart, and this has never been truer than when the decision was made to begin exploring merger options. As the current stewards of a super fund that has taken care of generations of the Qantas family for over more than 80 years, it’s our responsibility to ensure that members today and in the future are taken care of.

As we embark on this process, we want to keep you informed at each stage of the process and answer your questions.

The work so far

Since the announcement about exploring merger options on 25 September 2023, our CEO Michael Clancy and several Directors have met with various unions who count Qantas Super members among their own membership, to discuss the reasons why we are undertaking this process. We’ve also communicated with our various service providers and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA – the Government regulator that supervises financial institutions). All of these exchanges have been useful for the Trustee and we’re listening carefully to the feedback we’re receiving.

The Trustee Board also decided to create a new Merger Committee to guide the management team throughout this process; the Merger Committee is comprised of our Chair John Atkin, and Directors Lorraine Berends, Luke Murray, Klair Safier, and Richard Garner. The Merger Committee met for the first time on 9 November 2023.

Answering your questions

We thought we’d share with you the top 5 questions that have been raised with us since the Trustee has announced that we’re exploring merger options and our answers to these:

1. Why is Qantas Super looking to merge if it’s a top performing super fund?

We understand that it may not be obvious to members why Qantas Super should explore merger options. After all, we’re a top performing super fund, with products that are Gold and Platinum rated by an independent ratings agency. However, it’s the Trustee’s job to not only look at what’s going well today, but also to recognise what could be better, to look forward to how Qantas Super will likely fare in the future, and to consider the different strategic pathways available.

Having recently considered all of these issues, and taken on‑board specialist independent advice, the Trustee Board concluded that it would be in members best financial interests to explore options to merge Qantas Super with another super fund. Why? There are three key issues:

  • Competition: For many years the super industry has been consolidating into a smaller number of ever larger super funds. In fact, in 2004 there were 761 corporate superannuation funds and as of June 2022 there were just 11 corporate funds remaining. The largest super funds now have memberships and assets under management that are many, many multiples of Qantas Super. While size isn’t everything, economies of scale are important, and they provide these larger funds with opportunities to make significant investments in their products, services and member experiences as well as drive down costs per member.
  • Legislation/regulation: As the super industry has grown, the legislative and regulatory requirements placed on super funds have substantially increased. These changes usually make a lot of sense, as we all want a better run and more secure super system. However, some of these changes also hurt super funds like Qantas Super. A great example is a recent change in how superannuation guarantee contributions are treated if new employees don’t make an explicit super fund choice. The intent of the change was to reduce the likelihood of people unintentionally having multiple super accounts – a worthy goal – however one of the side effects of this change is that Qantas Super will not grow its new membership as much as previously expected.
  • Sustainability: Like any member-driven organisation, we need to be confident that we can sustainably deliver for our members now and in the future. Due to a host of factors, as we project forward, Qantas Super looks like it will be less sustainable in the future than it is today and has been in the past. For example, the following factors have been important considerations; larger super funds deal with thousands of employer groups and we only deal with one, COVID‑19 dramatically changed the demographics of Qantas Super’s membership, legislative changes mean Qantas Super will likely grow less than planned etc. As such we think our members would likely be better served by being part of a larger super fund with a broader membership and a healthier cash flow profile.

Taking all of the above factors and others into consideration, after lengthy deliberation the Trustee Board concluded that it would be best to explore merger options now, when Qantas Super is well positioned to do so (i.e. with competitive investment performance, products and services provided to members), rather than wait until circumstances might force us down this path in the future.

2. Why are you selling Qantas Super?

Qantas Super is not being sold.

If the process of exploring merger options leads to a merger down the track, it would most likely occur through a process called a Successor Fund Transfer (SFT). An SFT is a transfer of members and their benefits from one superannuation fund to another, and the requirements to perform an SFT are set out in superannuation legislation. As an SFT does not require individual members to consent to the transfer there are onerous legal requirements involved that must be met by the trustees of both the transferring super fund and the receiving super fund. The key requirement for an SFT is the agreement between the transferring trustee and the receiving trustee that the successor super fund will confer on the members equivalent rights to those rights the members had in the transferring superannuation fund. In addition, the accrued benefits of members cannot be adversely altered as a result of an SFT.

3. Is the Qantas Group forcing Qantas Super to explore a merger?

No, the Qantas Group and its management did not make or force this decision.

The decision to explore merger options was made by the Trustee Board, which oversees and governs Qantas Super, on the basis that it is in the best financial interests of members to do so. The Trustee Board is comprised of an equal number of Company-appointed and Member-elected Directors and the decision to explore merger options was a unanimous decision of the Board.

Importantly, if an SFT were to occur in the future, your employers’ obligations to provide superannuation benefits to members would remain the same. This means that, for defined benefit members, their employer would continue to support and fund their benefits in the new fund. Any accumulation members would also have their employer pay superannuation contributions into the new fund.

4. Will I lose my defined benefit?

No, members will not lose their defined benefit entitlements.

If the process of exploring merger options leads to a merger, one of the key requirements of an SFT is that the successor fund will provide equivalent rights to benefits that members held in their original fund. This means that Qantas Super members who are in defined benefit divisions now would have their super interests transferred to the receiving super fund with equivalent rights to the benefits they currently have.

5. Will Qantas Super members be able to vote on this proposed merger?

No, members are not able to vote on merger proposals.

Superannuation legislation requires that super fund trustees are the ones who must consider, and if appropriate, approve any SFT proposals to merge one super fund into another. As an SFT does not require individual members to consent to the transfer there are rigorous legal requirements involved that must be met by the trustees of both the transferring super fund and the receiving super fund.


We look forward to sharing more updates with you as we continue this important process. We continue to update our website with information and FAQs here.

Where can I find out more information?

The Trustee is committed to keeping members informed at each stage of this process. If you have any questions about your account, our team is here to help. You can call our helpline on 1300 362 967 or, if you are calling from overseas: +61 3 8687 1866 from 8am to 7pm (AEST/AEDT), Monday to Friday.

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