This webpage was created by Market Forces. Disclaimer: This site is intended to convey factual information for HESTA members who have decided to divest from HESTA. It is not intended to convey a recommendation that you should divest from HESTA. It is not intended to provide financial product advice. You should obtain independent advice before making any financial decisions.
Image credit: fossilfreesuper.org
Making your divestment count
Thanks for signing up for Divestment Day! The more you can publicise your actions and let HESTA know why you’re divesting, the more impact your divestment will have. Below are some actions you can take to amplify your divestment.
Lodge a complaint with HESTA
Lodging a formal complaint can be a great way to ensure that the fund is listening to your concerns, as the number of formal complaints received by the fund is reported to the board. The more HESTA members that lodge formal complaints, the more seriously the fund and its board will take these complaints.
You can submit a complaint online via the form linked below or give HESTA a call on 1800 813 327. They are available Monday – Friday 8 am – 8 pm AET.
Below are some tips to help you write your formal complaint.
- Make sure to use the words ‘formal complaint’ somewhere in your form (e.g. “I would like to raise a formal complaint”). This will ensure that there is no uncertainty whatsoever that you are seeking a resolution through the formal complaints mechanism
- Don’t be deterred if HESTA staff contact you to try to stop you from making a complaint. The member services team or complaints officer may give you a call and ask you to clarify the desired outcome of your complaint. This is merely a tactic to stop complaints from happening. Tell them that you know they have to treat your complaint as formal, and kindly ask them to kick off the internal dispute resolution process
- Complain about whatever you want, they have to take it seriously. You may wish to lodge a complaint about how their climate policy is not ambitious enough to be Paris-aligned, or that you don’t want the fund invested in Woodside, or that you think their actions don’t line up with their policies. Whatever it may be, remember this: you are a member of the fund, and they are investing your money. This means that your concerns should absolutely be Hesta’s #1 priority
More tips for writing your formal complaint if you're planning to divest
Losing members is a big deal for superannuation funds so if you write HESTA a personalised email telling the fund it might lose you as a member, the fund is likely to sit up and listen. Here are some tips to have as much impact with your email as possible.
- Let HESTA know how long you’ve been a member and why you’re planning to divest around mid June.
- Tell HESTA you’re not the only one – you’re one of 100+ people who are thinking of divesting.
- Ask HESTA for a meeting. The more contact you have with HESTA before divesting, the better.
- Let HESTA know the key ask: to stop investing members’ retirement savings in companies expanding fossil fuels.
- If we are to meet the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, fossil fuel production and use must decline. Yet HESTA is continuing to invest $228 million of members’ retirement savings in Woodside and $190 million in Santos. Both of these companies, and many others HESTA invests in, are pursuing new and expanded fossil fuel projects that are incompatible with the climate goals of the Paris Agreement and net zero emissions by 2050, which HESTA claims to support.
- For more information about how these companies are undermining climate action, see our pages on Woodside and Santos.
Call or meet with HESTA
Connecting with the staff at HESTA is a good way of having your concerns heard and bringing their attention to HESTA’s investments in fossil fuels.
You can give HESTA a call or make a time by following the link below. Use the talking points from the
‘More tips for writing your formal complaint if you’re planning to divest’ section above.
Be polite and treat the staff member as a potential ally that needs to be informed of your concerns
Post a template with a quote to social media
Send your photo and quote to [email protected] and we’ll send you a template like this that you can use for social media. We’ll also post it on social media and tag HESTA.
Create a video
Videos are a powerful way of reaching more HESTA members who may not be aware that HESTA is investing money in companies expanding fossil fuels. It is also a way of getting HESTA’s attention and publicly calling on them to ditch dirty fossil fuels.
You can make a video using your phone, laptop or computer.
- If using your phone, make sure to turn it sideways and record in landscape format.
- Introduce yourself, where you live, how long you’ve been a HESTA member and why you are divesting.
- Keep the video short and sweet, just a few sentences is best.
If you’re posting on Twitter tag @HESTASuper and @market_forces.
If you’re posting on Facebook tag @hesta.super and @MarketForces.
If you’re posting on LinkedIn you can tag @HESTA and @MarketForces
Once you have recorded your video, you can send it to [email protected] or post it on social media and tag Market Forces and HESTA.
Ready to divest?
Use the checklist below to divest your super from HESTA and switch to a fund that invests your money in ways that protect, rather than harm, the environment:
Checklist for divesting
Step 1 – Put HESTA on notice. You can do that by using the email above, making a formal complaint to HESTA and making an appointment to discuss the issue with HESTA.
Step 2 – Find a new superannuation fund. As part of your research, you can use our super fund comparison table to find a superannuation fund that better aligns with your values, but deciding if and where to move your money is entirely up to you. This government comparison tool measures the past 3, 5 and 7 years of performance and compare the total annual fee of various funds.
Market Forces does not provide financial advice, we present information to inform people motivated by environmental concerns and take actions based on those concerns. The information and actions provided by Market Forces do not account for any individual’s personal objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be used, relied upon, or treated as a substitute for specific professional advice. Market Forces recommends all users obtain their own independent professional advice before making any decision relating to their particular requirements or circumstances. Switching super funds may have unintended financial consequences.
Step 3 – Open your new account, not too long before you plan to close your old one to avoid being charged two sets of fees. You can join a new fund in about 10 minutes. Have on hand your tax file number, drivers licence and 1-2 other ID documents (eg. passport, Medicare card).
Step 4 – Tell your workplace or anywhere that makes regular contributions that you have moved superannuation funds so they can start paying into your new fund.
Step 5 – Transfer your money into the new fund. This can be done online with the new fund once you have set it all up.
Step 6 – Call or meet with HESTA to make sure the money has been transferred. This is an important step as you can tell HESTA why you left the fund and you can also close your account.
Moving your money to a superannuation fund that won’t fund fossil fuels is an important, positive step. But if you want to stop HESTA from continuing to fund dirty energy projects, you’re only halfway done. It is critical that your decision to switch superannuation funds leaves a lasting impression on HESTA and makes the fund realise its continued investment in climate-wrecking companies is costing it members. See the section above for ideas to amplify your divestment decision.
“HESTA’s supposed to be support for people in health care, but they aren’t really supporting health care while they’re investing our future in fossil fuels. I’ve given my notice, and I’ll be getting my super out of HESTA.”
Disclaimer: This site is intended to convey factual information for HESTA members who have decided to divest from HESTA. It is not intended to convey a recommendation that you should divest from HESTA. It is not intended to provide financial product advice. You should obtain independent advice before making any financial decisions.