24 December, 2021

We’re changing our Trust Deed

On 17 December 2021, we received approval from the Supreme Court of New South Wales to amend our Trust Deed.

Our Trust Deed is a legal document that sets out the basic rules that govern the operation of Spirit Super. You can find a copy of it here on our website.  

The amendment lets us charge a trustee fee for acting as trustee of Spirit Super, which can be used to pay fines and penalties and other trustee costs, such as director fees and insurance.

At this stage, we are taking the trustee fee from the fund’s general reserve, which is made up of administration fees, investment earnings and tax benefits.

This means there will be no change to the fees charged to your account.

If we do increase your fees, we will let you know beforehand.

Why has this change happened?

Spirit Super has not historically charged a fee for its services, which means we don’t hold any money as a trustee (known as trustee capital). The only money held has been fund money.

From 1 January 2022, changes to the law prevent superannuation trustees from using fund money to pay fines and penalties.

Ongoing super law and regulation changes mean the trustee is now subject to increasingly complex legal obligations which have expanded the range of fines and penalties that may be imposed on superannuation fund trustees.

So, if the Spirit Super trustee has to pay a fine or penalty and has no capital, it would be at risk of becoming insolvent and would no longer be able to operate the fund.

This puts the fund and your super at risk.

By introducing a trustee fee, the trustee can put money aside to pay any fines or penalties if something goes wrong.

The Supreme Court of New South Wales determined that the trustee is justified in making the trust deed amendments. The superannuation regulator, APRA, was also involved in the court process and did not object to the trust deed amendment.

So, is Spirit Super expecting to pay fines or penalties?

Not at all. We have robust policies and processes to comply with all legislative and prudential standards. We also have insurance for operating the fund.

Apart from protecting us from potential fines and penalties, these measures also help us ensure we always work in your best financial interest.  

However, superannuation is a complex business. While we work diligently to comply with all laws and regulations, the risks involved with managing and running a super fund have increased significantly. Even simple unintentional errors can attract fines or penalties.

By making this change, we are ensuring the financial stability of the trustee.

It’s just another way we can protect you and your super now and well into the future. 

Need more information?

For more information, see our Trust Deed.