Local Government Super turns twenty
10 July 2017
Local Government Super (LGS) is celebrating twenty years of looking after the retirement savings of current and former local government employees right across New South Wales.
In that time, LGS has grown into one of Australia’s leading super funds for responsible and sustainable investment, great value for money, and outstanding personal and local service.
And there have been many highlights, including numerous industry awards, but the key to our success over the last twenty years has been the focus on the needs of our members; the people who do such a great job serving our local communities.
The birth of LGS
Before LGS was established in 1997, local government employees in New South Wales were officially part of the New South Wales government sector.
Local government employees were either members of the State Authorities Superannuation Scheme (SASS), or First State Super (FSS) if they started work after 1992.
While these super funds met the needs of state government employees, members who worked in local government were spread across the state in local communities, and they needed a super fund specifically tailored to meet the very different needs of local government employees and employers.
LGS was established in 1997 as the industry super fund solely engaged in the management of LGS for the benefit of NSW local government employees, a fund that returned all its profits to members.
Any members of SASS or FSS who worked for local government in NSW were transferred to the new super fund, and LGS was officially born.
The first LGS logo featured a stylised image of a traditional local council chambers building.
The early years
Initially, together with Energy Industries Superannuation Scheme (EISS), LGS established FuturePlus Financial Services to handle all back-office administration and a range of other service functions.
LGS retained its own identity but utilised FuturePlus to share administration costs with EISS and reduce operating costs for members of both super funds.
The middle years
In 2010, LGS sold its share in FuturePlus to EISS so the super fund could operate as a separate business with a sharper focus on the needs of local government employees and employers.
LGS insourced a range of service functions including member services, client relationship management, financial planning and marketing. All designed to provide members across the state with personal service and expert advice about their super.
FuturePlus continued to provide back office administration for LGS until 2014 when the management of these functions were transferred to Australian Administration Services.
In 2010, the original logo was redesigned to represent our local government heritage as well as our strong commitment to responsible and sustainable investment.
Responsible and sustainable investment
LGS has always had a strong commitment to responsible and sustainable investment and was the first super fund in Australia to stop investing in tobacco in 2001.
Our belief is that having a fully integrated responsible approach is the best way to minimise investment risks for our members and achieve long-term sustainable returns. Our approach includes a range of strategies:
- More than $900 million in low-carbon investments
- Extensive negative investment screens including tobacco, armaments and controversial weapons, gambling, old growth logging and high-carbon activities such as coal mining
- Company engagement and proxy voting
- High levels of transparency and disclosure.
LGS also manages one of the most sustainable direct property portfolios in Australia which includes eight retail, commercial and industrial sites in New South Wales.
The portfolio has an average 6 star NABERS energy rating with GreenPower and has won numerous awards for sustainable initiatives over the last 20 years. The portfolio received the highest rating of 5 out of 5 in the 2016 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) survey.
LGS has been recognised with numerous national and international awards and rankings for our responsible and sustainable investment.
- LGS is one of only a handful of super funds to be officially certified as a responsible super fund by Responsible Investment Association of Australasia.
- Named Best Green Super Fund in Money magazine’s Best of the Best Awards five times.
- Received the SuperRatings Infinity Award for leadership in responsible investment five times.
- Ranked number one globally in the Asset Owners Disclosure Project for the management of the opportunities and risk of climate change three times since 2012.
LGS turning twenty
Today, LGS manages more than $10 billion in funds under management for over 90,000 members including current and former local government employees.
LGS is a certified responsible investor with investment across Australian and international shares, property, infrastructure, private equity and absolute return asset classes.
For people still working, LGS offers:
- Accumulations Scheme for local government employees
- Public Offer Scheme for people who have left local government employment or for other members of the public
For retired members, LGS offers:
- Account-Based Pension Plan to provide a flexible, tax-effective income stream in retirement
- Lifetime or Fixed Term Guaranteed Income products to provide a stable income in retirement.
Our team of client relationship managers, financial planners, and member services officers provide our members with expert, personal service no matter where our members live in New South Wales. We also offer:
- A wide range of investment options including our Sustainable Australian Shares and our DIY option
- Expert and affordable financial planning
- Cost-effective insurance cover
- Highly competitive fees and charges
- Long-term sustainable investment returns.
And recently LGS has been recognised for our products, services and value by taking out Super Review’s Best Public Sector Fund in 2016, and being awarded the Canstar five-star rating for outstanding value for our Account-Based Pension Plan.
The next twenty
Over the past two decades, the super industry has undergone a transformation with many legislative changes and a high number of fund mergers, and the same can be said for local government in NSW, which has also experienced some dramatic changes in recent times.
But for LGS, the focus remains the same; the long-term financial wellbeing of our members.
Our plan for the next twenty years is to build on our commitment to our members with great products and services, truly personal service, and long-term sustainable investment returns.
If you’d like to know more about Local Government Super, you can call us on 1300 LGSUPER (1300 547 873) between 8.30am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.
This article has been issued by LGSS Pty Limited (ABN 68 078 003 497) (AFSL 383558), as Trustee for Local Government Super (ABN 28 901 371 321). This document contains general information only and does not take into account your personal objectives, situation or needs. You should consider obtaining professional financial, taxation and/or legal advice tailored to your personal circumstances prior to making any financial decision.