2020 will be a year remembered for its succession of major global and domestic events.

We saw individuals, community, business, and governments come together and adapt to new social norms to keep each other safe, and the economy going. At BT, we’re proud of our customers’ resilience and their focus on the long term, and would like to thank them for choosing us to safeguard their super through an unprecedented time in history.

Despite the challenging year, we were able to achieve great milestones at incredible pace, with an increased commitment to deliver impact for our customers. We’re pleased to present you with our reflections on 2020.

What's happening?

  • International media reports first death from novel coronavirus1
  • Australia’s first novel coronavirus case announced2
  • 18.6 million Australian hectares burnt from bushfires3
  • UK leaves the EU after 47 years of membership4

How we're supporting you

We deliver an Economic update for January 2020, to help our customers understand global economic developments. 

Westpac launches a Disaster Relief Package to help our super and life insurance customers suffering hardship. 

What's happening?

  • Novel coronavirus officially named COVID-195
  • Australia activates its emergency plan6

How we're supporting you

Westpac Group implements our business continuity plan to ensure continuation of service to our customers.

We deliver our Economic update for February 2020 to help our members understand market movements.

We transfer approximately 300,000 members to our BT Super product to help them better manage their super.

What's happening?

  • Global cities forced to lockdown7
  • WHO declares COVID-19 a global pandemic8
  • All Ordinaries largest one-day fall since 1987 – $165 bn lost9
  • Australia closes its borders and goes into lockdown10
  • Government announces super fund members can access up to $10,000 from their super from April 202011 
  • Government announces $130 bn JobKeeper package to help businesses

How we're supporting you

We launch our COVID-19 customer support hub to give customers relevant resources, including how to apply for early access to super. 

We deliver our Economic update for March 2020, and summarise potential implications for investors in an article on the coronavirus and the impacts on the global markets.

Our BT Super for Life product wins 2020 SuperRatings Infinity Award for sustainable investing.^

What's happening?

  • Equities rebound in April/May as countries introduce measures to control the virus, and launch plans to reopen their economies13

How we're supporting you

We help our customers understand market volatility and how it affects super, and share insights on how to ride out the highs and lows of market fluctuations.

Our BT Super MySuper members are given a 6-month reduction in their Investment Fees (PDF).*

What's happening?

  • Australia’s unemployment rate hits 19-year high of 7.1%14
  • Restrictions on public gatherings ease in NSW15

How we're supporting you

We deliver a changes to employment guide, give a perspective on dealing with market volatility, and highlight the ins and outs of dollar cost averaging in a market downturn.

What's happening?

  • Australian share market reaches new peak of 6,148 points (All Ordinaries high)16
  • Lockdowns re-enforced across Melbourne VIC17
  • Tensions with the US and China hit news headlines18

How we're supporting you

We help explain to members some reasons why share markets are going up, and provide caution about the risks that remain.

We offer our customers a local perspective on how trade with China affects the Australian economy

What's happening?

  • A new financial year commences with new super rules removing the work test for personal super contributions for members aged 65 and 66, and extending the age limit to 75 to receive spouse contributions19
  • 1 July to 24 September 2020 (since extended to 31 December 2020), eligible super members able to access up to $10,000 of their super20

How we're supporting you

The Trustee of BT Super and BT Super for Life appoints AIA Australia Limited (AIA) as its group life insurer.

We explain what’s been happening in the markets as it relates to super balances and help members with how to read their upcoming annual statement.

This video is for BT Super and BT Super for Life members.

What's happening?

  • VIC declares state of disaster. Stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne21
  • QLD implements a hard border closure to NSW, ACT, VIC22
  • The S&P 500 Index sees its best August return since 1986, up 7%23

How we're supporting you

We communicate to our members the importance of investing through different life stages.

We remind customers on why insurance is important, and explain different types of insurance including total and permanent disablement, term life, and income protection.

We transfer approximately 30,000 members to our BT Super product to help them better manage their super.

What's happening?

  • Australia in first recession for nearly 30 years24

How we're supporting you

Women in Finance Awards 2020 name Melinda Howes, Managing Director, BT Superannuation “Thought Leader of the Year.” 

We continue to help members understand where markets are sitting, remind them of risk appetite, and understanding investment options in turbulent times, including five rules for investing during coronavirus.

What's happening?

  • NSW, ACT and NT welcome travellers from New Zealand without quarantine25
  • Consumer sentiment index jumps to 105.0, highest reading since July 201826
  • 2020/2021 Federal Budget handed down includes new annual performance tests for super funds, and ‘stapling’ of super accounts to employees as they move jobs27

How we're supporting you

We deliver coverage on the Australian Federal Budget for 2020/2021, including a summary of the key changes, an explanation of tax measures (PDF), the state of the nation’s finance (PDF), and what the 2020 Federal Budget means for families.

We make changes to our Standard Administration fees which see some of our members pay equivalent or lower fees.

We reduce life insurance premiums for our BT Super members.

What's happening?

  • The US Presidential election takes place, and the world awaits the outcome of the Republican party results dispute28
  • The Australian government releases a long-awaited review of retirement incomes19
  • Melbourne VIC emerges from 111 days of lockdown30
  • More than 50 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide31
  • RBA lowers cash rate by 0.15 percentage points to an all-time low of 0.10%32
  • Australian share market posts best month in over 30 years33

How we're supporting you

We deliver a view on the implications of the US election to the Australian economy and financial markets and potential risks and opportunities for super fund members.

We deliver a view on October market movements (PDF) and help members understand the importance of planning for retirement.

We win Best Commercial Product – Personal Category, Super Review Super Fund of the Year Award.*

What's happening (as at 8 Dec)?

  • RBA holds cash rate at 0.1%, with experts expecting them to remain unchanged for two years34
  • Australia no longer in a recession, with the economy having grown 3.3% in the September quarter35
  • UK residents respond to reports that a COVID-19 vaccine will roll out within days36

How we're supporting you

We hold our “Countdown to Retirement” webinar for members aged 55 and over.

We invite all members to our inaugural Annual Members’ Meeting to be held in February 2021.

^ Awards are opinions only, are not recommendations and are only one factor to be taken into account when deciding to acquire, dispose or hold a financial product. For further information about the methodology used see www.superratings.com.au and www.sfotyawards.superreview.com.au. Awards and ratings are current at the time of publication but are subject to change.
* Not including Westpac Group Plan members.

References

1 "Coronavirus Death Toll Climbs in China, and a Lockdown Widens" The New York Times.
2 “First confirmed case of novel coronavirus in Australia” Australian Government Department of Health.
3 “Government set to revise total number of hectares destroyed during bushfire season to 17 million” 9NEWS.
4 “How will the Brexit transition period work? ” Telegraph.
5 “Naming the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the virus that causes it” World Health Organization (WHO).
6 “Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert” Australian Government Department of Health.
7 “National responses to the COVID-19 pandemic” Wikipedia.
8 “COVID-19 pandemic” Wikipedia.
9 “ASX 200 posts biggest fall on record, Reserve Bank flags further measures amid coronavirus fears” ABC News.
10 “Australia closes borders to stop coronavirus” 7 News.
11 “Early access to your super” Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
12 “Federal Government offers $130b in coronavirus wage subsidies for businesses to pay workers” ABC News.
13 “Monthly Commentary – April 2020” BT Investment Solutions.
14 “Unemployment reaches 19-year high in May after loss of 227,000 jobs” Sydney Morning Herald (SMH).
15 “NSW to ease COVID-19 restrictions from Friday 15 May” NSW Government.
16 “Australian shares rise for seventh day in a row, as Nasdaq hits record high again” ABC News.
17 “How Victoria's coronavirus lockdown across 10 Melbourne postcodes will work” ABC News.
18 “Effects of U.S.-China tensions could ‘spread throughout the world” CNBC.
19 “What you need to know about superannuation in 2020” Australian Financial Review (AFR).
20 “Early access to your super” Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
21 "Statement On Changes To Melbourne's Restrictions" Premier of Victoria.
22 “Queensland to enforce hard border closure with NSW and ACT” The Guardian.
23 “Monthly Commentary – August 2020” BT Investment Solutions.
24 “Australia in first recession for nearly 30 years” BBC News.
25 “Emotional scenes as first 'no-quarantine' flights arrive into Sydney under new trans-Tasman travel bubble” Special Broadcasting Service (SBS News).
26 “Australia October consumer sentiment surges to two-year high in "extraordinary" result” Reuters.
27 “Budget 2020 – 2021” Australian Government.
28 “Election Results: Tracking Viral Disinformation” New York Times.
29 “Retirement Income Review – a final report” Australian Treasury.
30 “The Lockdown That Felt Like It Might Last Forever Has Finally Ended” New York Times.
31 “Global coronavirus case total tops 50 million” ABC News.
32 “Statement by Philip Lowe, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision – 20 November 2020” Reserve Bank of Australia.
33 “ASX thumps global peers in best November in 30 years” The Australian Financial Review.
34 “Statement by Philip Lowe, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision – 1 December 2020” Reserve Bank of Australia.
35 “6 things to watch for as Australia crawls out of recession” The Conversation.
36 “Coronavirus vaccine approval in the UK” ABC News.

Important information

This information is current as at 8 December 2020.

The information is prepared by BT Funds Management Limited ABN 63 002 916 458 (BTFM) the trustee of:

1. BT Super for Life, BT Super for Life Westpac Group Plan and BT Super part of the superannuation fund Retirement Wrap ABN 39 827 542 991; and
2. Asgard Employee Super Account part of the superannuation fund the Asgard Independence Plan Division Two ABN 90 194 410 365.

This information has been prepared as general advice only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it. Read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to see if these products are right for you by visiting bt.com.au or asgard.com.au. BTFM is a member of the Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 (Westpac) group of companies.

An investment in a BTFM product is not an investment in, deposit with or any other liability of Westpac, any division of Westpac or any other company in the Westpac Group. Westpac and its related entities do not stand behind or otherwise guarantee the capital value or investment performance of the product or any related assets of the product.