World-first pooled longevity investment fund – Mercer LifetimePlus™ – receives CANSTAR Innovation Award: only superannuation product to be awarded honour
The words ‘retirement’ and ‘innovation’ may appear to go together like chalk and cheese, but appearances can be deceiving. A new investment option for retirees has changed the game in terms of providing an income for life; superannuation that lasts a lifetime is now a reality and the innovation has been recognised by CANSTAR.
Mercer’s LifetimePlus, an investment option within an account-based pension provides retirees with an income for life and was the only superannuation product this year to be recognised by CANSTAR’s Innovation Excellence Awards as a game-changing innovative solution for Australians.
CANSTAR takes pride in helping consumers make better decisions. Their Innovation Excellence Awards recognise products that open up a new market, increase competition in an existing market, change people’s lives, and ultimately have a “wow” factor.
David Anderson, Mercer’s Managing Director and Pacific Market Leader said, “CANSTAR looks for innovation that helps Australian consumers and businesses to make better financial decisions, or just makes lives a little easier. This sums up exactly what Mercer and our LifetimePlus investment fund is all about.”
“We know from our research Australians will outlive their retirement savings on average by more than five years and one in four will outlive it by more than ten years. Until now, Australians had limited options to protect themselves against this risk. Mercer LifetimePlus has changed that forever,” he said.
Mercer LifetimePlus is an investment option added to an account based pension from your superannuation fund. It is a longevity pool where you share the risk of outliving your savings together with other retirees. There is no third party shareholder and no insurance premiums so all profits go to the participants. You can access your money at any point in time with Mercer LifetimePlus – there is no cliff edge where money becomes inaccessible, it need not change your investment profile, or in other words your exposure to investment risk. Mercer LifetimePlus provides an income until the day you die; the money does not run out while you are alive.
“We’re living longer, we’re retired for longer, we need our savings to stretch further, but Australians had very few cost effective options to ensure their super lasts for as long as they do, up until now,” said Mr Anderson.
“We have the unique ‘boiling pot’ for innovation in retirement income solutions, with actuarial, investment, legal, financial advice and superannuation expertise all under one roof. We’ve combined our best thinking and experience to create LifetimePlus. However, we wouldn’t have achieved such a great result without feedback and input from some of our clients who also chose to be at the forefront of this innovation.
“We’ve co-created a step change innovation that will help people sustain their lifestyle for longer. In particular, Media Super confidently chose to join us in being first to market with this new investment option and help their members have better lives in retirement.
Media Super CEO Graeme Russell said he was pleased to be able to offer a simple, affordable solution that would provide an income for members for the rest of their lives.
“LifetimePlus has the added advantage that members’ funds stay in their super pension account under their control and as it’s based on a mutual pool, the product aligns closely with the values of funds like Media Super that are run only to benefit members”, said Mr Russell.
Media Super pension account members will be able to invest in LifetimePlus from next week. Pension account members of the Mercer Super Trust can also invest in LifetimePlus.
Mr Anderson concluded, “Our purpose is to improve the health, wealth and career of our customers. CANSTAR’s recognition of our innovation is fantastic and will continue to push and motivate us to create more value and deliver better experiences for our clients and customers.”
Mercer is a global leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. Mercer helps clients around the world advance the health, wealth and performance of their most vital asset – their people. Mercer’s 20,000 employees are based in 43 countries and the firm operates in over 140 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), a global team of professional services companies offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and human capital. With 55,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue exceeding $12 billion, Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company ofMarsh, a global leader in insurance broking and risk management; Guy Carpenter, a global leader in providing risk and reinsurance intermediary services; and Oliver Wyman, a global leader in management consulting. Follow Mercer on Twitter @MercerAU @MercerInsights