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Future Super's COVID-19 response

Written by:

Kirstin Hunter

13 July 2020

At Future Super, we use the power of money to invest in, campaign and advocate for a prosperous future free from climate change and inequality. We stand for creating an economic system that puts people before profit in a crisis.

These are, as we know so well by now, unprecedented times that we find ourselves in. The shortcomings of our social and economic systems are being brutally exposed and we are seeing so many of our priorities re-arranged.

Now more than ever purpose driven businesses must show their purpose through their actions. So today we’re announcing a number of initiatives to put people before profit during this crisis.

In addition to what’s released here we’re continuing to develop the actions we can take to show the economic system we want to see.

What we’re doing for our staff

We're role modelling what it looks like to be a business that puts people before profit in the way we treat our staff in this crisis, including:

  • Providing unlimited COVID leave for any staff member impacted by coronavirus (whether because they exhibit symptoms, or they have to care for someone who does)

  • Ensuring all staff have a safe working from home environment by allowing them to take equipment home from the office (or purchasing for them), and sending all staff a fire blanket and first aid kit in case of emergency

  • Reducing the number of hours expected per week (while maintaining full salaries)

  • Giving each staff member one extra day of personal leave for each month that we are working remotely

  • A one-off bonus for each employee to improve their home office (whether that be a new desk, ergonomic chair, home office plants, or even just boosting their home office snack game)

  • Covering any increase in household internet expense due to working from home

  • Expanding our Employee Assistance Program so that staff and their families are able to access top quality mental health support

  • Supporting our staff who are juggling parent duties as much as we can (you should've seen our Future Super kids zoom disco dance party – adorable!)

What we’re doing for our members

We're actively building a prosperous future free from climate change and inequality for our members to retire into, including:

  • Ensuring their money isn’t invested in fossil fuels, the Big 4 banks and other industries that harm our collective future. In this time of unprecedented market volatility, we have protected our members’ savings from the worst of the downturn while also ensuring we build a future worth retiring into. Between the peak of the market on 20 Feb up to 16 April, the ASX200 was down -23.4%, whereas the three Future Super options returned between -8.55% and -9.54%. (It is important to note that past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.)

  • Providing our members with the information they need to apply to access their super early if they need to. We’re not into making our members feel guilty for accessing their super (because we recognise that people are being asked by our Government to make an incredibly difficult choice between their present and their future).

  • Calling on the government to pay back the super of members who’ve had to withdraw. Read more here.

What we’re doing as a business

We’re doing our bit to make sure that the fact that we are not in the office doesn’t damage those who rely on our business, including:

  • Continuing to pay our cleaners in both our Sydney and Canberra offices

  • Donating our entertainment and office snack budgets to charities supporting those impacted by Covid-19

What we're doing as an investor

We are using our status as an investor to influence the companies we invest in, and the ASX more broadly, to put people over profit during this crisis. In particular, we have:

  • Lead Australian investors of all sizes by signing the UNPRI’s Investor Statement on Coronavirus Response, representing an international collaboration of investors who manage over US$6.4 Trillion. Read more here.

  • Reached out to all the companies we invest in and ASX100 to ensure they put people at the heart of their response to this crisis

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