First Nations Foundation, Australia’s leading Indigenous financial literacy organisation, has launched an online resource to help Indigenous Australians find, manage and grow their superannuation – IndigenousSuper.com.au.
The Foundation has reconnected Indigenous Australians with more than $24 million in lost super to date through its award-winning Big Super Day Out events.
With a heightened level of financial uncertainty as a result of COVID-19, First Nations Foundation had to rapidly innovate to ensure it could effectively reach and support Indigenous Australians during such difficult times.
First Nations Foundation CEO and Wiradjuri man, Phil Usher said Indigenous Australians have been accessing their super early as a result of the impacts of COVID-19, without fully understanding the potential repercussions of that decision.
“In many cases these funds are critical for poverty alleviation and relief during the pandemic but in some instances, the lack of government means testing has resulted in early release claims despite ineligibility.
“This comes down to a lack of understanding and education for the Indigenous community about the role of superannuation and the details of the current scheme in place. As a result, those who have accessed their super early who were not eligible will not only have decreased security in retirement due to lower super balances, but they run the risk of government fines, taking people further into financial distress.”
The new website – IndigenousSuper.com.au – has been launched to help Indigenous Australians learn about their superannuation, including what benefits it has over the short and long term. It provides users with a ‘five-step’ plan to take control of their super, including sections on Knowledge, Find it, Grow it, Protect it and Plan it.
“First Nations Foundation aims to achieve financial prosperity for Indigenous Australians because until now, there has been a lack of clear and culturally relevant education available for Indigenous Australians around accessing financial services, in particular super and the associated insurances that generally come with this,” said Phil.
First Nations Foundation has operated the Big Super Day Out outreach initiative for the past six years, reconnecting Indigenous Australians with more than $24 million in super. This year, to protect the health of these vulnerable communities, the Big Super Day Out has been postponed. It is for this reason that additional resources like the new Indigenous Super website are now crucial.
“Indigenous Super is not intended to replace the Big Super Day Out events, but rather to complement them by providing a free educational resource that assists Indigenous Australians in navigating aspects of the super system when we are not able to be out there face-to-face,” said Phil.
The platform has been supported by a number of superannuation funds and financial service providers, including AustralianSuper, Cbus, HESTA, Hostplus, MLC, MTAA Super, Rest, Suncorp, Sunsuper, TelstraSuper, Unisuper and QSuper.
QSuper CEO Michael Pennisi said improving the retirement outcomes for all communities by removing any barriers to accessing superannuation has never been more important.
“Superannuation is likely to be a substantial asset for many Indigenous Australians. We’re committed to supporting the financial wellbeing of our remote members and their communities with culturally relevant education to help them connect with their super and close the gap caused by financial exclusion. COVID-19 has changed the way we can connect and interact with remote communities and we are proud to support this important online resource in partnership with the First Nations Foundation,” said Michael.
Sponsors receive a dedicated page for their business that can be used to provide insights into their Reconciliation Action Plans, and key contacts for their Indigenous support channels.
“We intend to develop this resource over time as the superannuation industry evolves, and it is the first of a number of new resources that First Nations Foundation is launching to help Indigenous Australians take steps towards economic parity with the rest of the population,” said Phil.
The development of IndigenousSuper.com.au has involved Indigenous consultants and artists, including Aboriginal owned and operated design agency NGNY, and celebrated Indigenous artist Nikita Ridgeway from Boss Lady Design Agency.
First Nations Foundation was formed in 2006 by the First Nations Credit Union, teaching financial skills to Indigenous people. For more information, please visit firstnationsfoundation.org.au. For more information on Indigenous Super, please visit www.indigenoussuper.com.au
0451 959 909
“A fantastic learning resource that will empower more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to build their knowledge around superannuation. HESTA is proud to partner with First Nations Foundation, who share our values of making a real difference.” – HESTA Chief Partnerships Officer Neil Saxton
“We are honoured to have partnered with the First Nations Foundation to help improve financial literacy and retirement outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The launch of Indigenous Super is another way we can help more Indigenous Australians find, protect and grow their superannuation for a better retirement.” – Sunsuper Chief Executive Officer Bernard Reilly.