When you join NESS Super you will be invested in the MySuper option until you choose another investment option. There are seven (7) investment options available.

How the Trustee manages your investments

The Trustee regularly reviews the performance and structure of the investment options and may make changes from time to time. In formulating, reviewing, and giving effect to the investment strategy for the Fund and each investment option, the Trustee will have regard to:

  1. The risk and likely return of investments;
  2. Liquidity and the ability of the Fund to discharge its existing and prospective liabilities, having regard to the expected cash flow requirements of the Fund;
  3. The availability of reliable valuation information;
  4. Expected tax consequences for the Fund;
  5. Costs that might be incurred by the Fund;
  6. The results of any relevant due diligence undertaken; and
  7. Any other matters the Trustee deems relevant.
  8. The Trustee exercises due diligence in developing, offering, and regularly reviewing each investment option.

The Trustee has had regard to the factors highlighted above in the development, offering and review of each investment option. The Trustee employs the service of an independent professional Investment Consultant to assist the Trustee to assess that each factor has been appropriately considered and that the risks taken are appropriate in the context of the objectives, cash flow requirements, liquidity requirements and consistent with the communications made to the beneficiaries of each option.


All investments carry risk. How you invest your super may depend on your age, how long you invest your super, other investments you may have and your tolerance for volatility.

Different strategies may carry different levels of risk, depending on the assets that make up the portfolio. Generally, assets with the highest long-term returns may also carry the highest level of short-term risk.

You can choose from a range of investment options, each with a different mix of assets, to suit your needs. The likely investment return and the level of potential volatility of returns will therefore be different for each investment option.

A summary of significant risks that you should consider as a member of NESS Super are:

  1. the value of investments will vary.
  2. the level of returns will vary, and future returns may differ from past returns;
  3. returns are not guaranteed, and you may lose some of your money;
  4. superannuation and tax laws may change in the future;
  5. the amount of your future super savings (including contributions and returns) may not be enough to provide adequately for your retirement;
  6. the level of risk for each person will vary depending on a range of factors, including:
    1. age; and
    2. investment time frames; and
    3. where other parts of the person’s wealth are invested; and
    4. the person’s risk tolerance.

Risk can be minimised but it cannot be eliminated. Even conservative investments carry risk, but some investments are riskier than others. Generally, the higher the potential return, the higher the risk of negative return.

The level of risk is different for each investment option and depends on the underlying mix of assets held in that investment option.

Standard Risk Measure

The Standard Risk Measure is a guide to the likely number of negative annual returns expected over any 20-year period. The Standard Risk Measures are produced in accordance with the Standard Risk Measure guidance issued jointly by The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia Limited and Financial Services Council in July 2011. The Standard Risk Measure is not a complete assessment of all forms of investment risk. It will not predict market downturns or the length and extent of them. Importantly, it does not tell you the details of potential negative returns or consider the potential that positive returns might be less than what you need to meet your investment goals. Your tolerance to risk will also depend on other important factors, including your age, how long you want to invest for, your financial needs and your assets.

The Standard Risk Measure is a guide to compare investment options across different funds. The Standard Risk Measure for each of our investment options is shown on the investment option pages. The risk bands and risk levels used in the Standard Risk Measure are based on the seven categories listed below:

Risk Band


Risk Label

Very low
Low to medium
Medium to high
Very high

Estimated number of negative annual returns over a 20-year period

Less than 0.5
0.5 to less than 1
1 to less than 2
2 to less than 3
3 to less than 4
4 to less than 6
6 or greater

Asset classes

Any investments that you make are applied to “asset classes” such as cash, fixed interest, property, and shares. These generally fall into two categories of asset classes: “defensive” and “growth”.

Defensive assets

Defensive assets are typically low-risk, low-return investments such as cash, fixed interest, and bonds. The main objective of investing in defensive assets is to protect the value of your original investment while earning relatively low but stable rates of return. The risk of a negative return in any one year is relatively low but there is a risk of the returns being eroded by the prevailing rates of inflation.

Growth assets

Growth assets are investments such as property and shares. Growth assets generally provide investors with high returns in the medium to long term (5 years or more). The main objective of investing in growth assets is to achieve returns that average well above the rate of inflation over the long term. Rates of return can vary widely over short periods and are more likely than defensive assets to give a negative return in any one-year period. The higher risk (“volatility”) of growth assets can be reduced by holding them for a longer term and by mixing them with defensive assets. This is called “diversification”.


The Trustee operates five reserves that are governed by the Reserving Policy, being the Operational Risk Reserve, Group Life Reserve, Administration Reserve, Investment Reserve and Contingency Reserve.

The Trustee has determined that the Operational Risk Reserve will have a target amount of 0.25% of the Fund’s net assets to protect the Fund if a loss is incurred from an operational risk event. All APRA regulated funds are required to maintain an Operational Risk Reserve.

The Group Life Reserve is only used to fund insurance costs or subsidising future insurance premiums.

The Contingency Reserve meets any operational or associated costs incurred which are not met by the fees deducted from member accounts.

The Administration Reserve is used to meet any fund administration expenses which includes levies from member accounts and tax related expenses.

The Investment Reserve is used to meet any earnings applied or accrued for existing or exited members of the fund.

Use of Derivatives

Derivatives are financial contracts whose value depends on or is derived from assets, liabilities, or indices. While the Trustee does not directly invest in derivative securities, investment managers are permitted to use futures, options, and other derivative instruments to assist with the effective management of NESS Super’s assets, consistent with the Trustee’s Investment Policy. However, these instruments may not be used to gear the portfolio. The Trustee expects that, over the long term, the use of these instruments will enhance the returns of NESS Super’s investment options

Unit pricing

When you invest with NESS Super, your account balance is made up of contributions, rollovers, and transfers into the Fund, plus or minus any investment returns, less any fees taxes or charges that apply.

The value of your account is expressed in numbers of units and the unit value of each investment option.

Each investment option has its own unit price, which is the value of one unit. Unit prices are normally calculated by dividing the value of the assets held in the investment option (after allowing for certain fees and expenses and taxes) by the total number of units on issue for that investment option.

Your money will purchase units in the investment option(s) of your choice.  The number of units purchased depends on the value of the units (unit price) at the date of purchase.

The value of your account balance will fluctuate depending on variations to the unit price of your investment option(s) and the amount of any taxes, fees, and insurance costs applied to your account

Unit prices are calculated daily and are available through MemberAccess.

Responsible Investment Overview

The Trustee adopts a long-term investment horizon. The Trustee believes that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues affect the long-term performance (risk and return) of its investment pools and integrating ESG considerations into its investment decision making and ownership practices is fundamental to exercising its fiduciary duty.

The Trustee takes a pragmatic approach to responsible investment and encourages further evolution in pursuit of continuous improvement. Where pooled funds are held as an efficient and cost-effective means of accessing investment opportunities, the Trustee recognises that it may have limited influence over the securities held in the fund.

The Trustee considers changing companies’ behaviour through engagement to be a more effective way to assert its values and core commitment to sustainability as opposed to broad-based negative exclusions. However, the Trustee will:

  • except where it is unavoidable in the near-term
  • not invest in industries or sectors that are contrary to Australian legislation or current government policies, or where there is clear evidence that it is contradictory to the Trustee’s mission.

The Trustee will endeavour to apply negative screens during the manager selection process to exclude companies that derive their revenue from the following activities:

  • Tobacco
  • Cluster Munitions and Landmines

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