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Mercer Super Trust to get GRT funds

By Rob Hosking

Wednesday 21st September 2005

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The $470 million in savings previously administered by the Global Retirement Trust (GRT) has been picked up by Mercer Human Resource Consulting.

The funds from the five public service workplace retirement savings schemes formerly administered by GRT will be moved into especially designed investment funds in the Mercer Super Trust at the end of the month.

GRT general manager Louise Gibson says Mercer will "replicate the GRT investment structure and utilise the same underlying investment managers, which will provide continuity and ensures a seamless transition for members."

The five schemes include the Police Superannuation Scheme, Employee Retirement Plan/Teachers Retirement Savings Scheme, Individual Retirement Plan, Public Trust Superannuation Fund and the Inland Revenue Department's Superannuation Scheme, totalling more than $470 million in assets and comprising more than 21,000 members.

GRT earlier this year announced its closure, citing competition from providers to the government's new State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme (SSRSS) as rendering its activities unviable.

GRT was set up in 2002 to provide workplace superannuation to the public sector.

State Services Commission documents show that GRT never attained the critical mass it needed as there was insufficient interests from government departments to provide superannuation to their employees.

"While the SSRSS has brought matters to ahead for GRT, GRT has never had the core components for long term viability," says an internal State Services Commission memo on the closure.

"The GRT trustees have struggled with the problem for many years, once it became clear that most government departments would not follow the example of the original group which supported its establishment."

"Its one competitive advantage has been its close alignment with public service organisations. The introduction of the Teachers Retirement Savings Scheme in 2002 (without tender) gave GRT a timely boost, growing membership by 50% over that achieved in the previous ten yeas.

"The launch of the SSRSS could have done the same but GRT's advantage was removed when three retail providers were mandated to target GRT's traditional market."

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