I thought I'd found a match made in heaven six-odd months ago when I found ING Direct's "Living Super" - as someone who doesn't spend a lot of time in Australia, I don't particularly care if the pittance I have in super doesn't grow, I just don't want it to evaporate. In effect, for the most part, someone in my situation is forced to give a portion of their salary each week into a fund that will eventually be eaten away by fund managers at no benefit to myself.
ING's offering was different, being so far the only retail fund I've found where there are no management or monthly fees for funds left in cash. I even made interest on it! Sounds perfect right?
Fast forward to sometime in the last week or so when I get an email asking if I have any ties to the USA. No explanation or anything, just answer Y if you do - and apparently even having a US phone number counts. Shortly after responding with a "Y", I receive a transfer out form.
I spent considerable time on the phone with them, difficult being a weekend, and am expecting a call back or email on Monday. So far, what I've managed to learn is that it has something to do with FATCA, but that ING's turfing of Aussie citizens with even the flimsiest of US ties is completely voluntary. I spoke with an "Angela" who told me when I asked what law they were complying with that there was simply an agreement between ING and the US government not to supply securities to persons with ties to the USA.
I also learned that regrettably, there is no way to separate the "securities" aspect from the "superannuation compliant savings account" aspect which is all I'm really interested in. I'm not expecting much on monday, I suppose I'll wind up letting the money get rolled over into some shitty fund to be eaten away over the next decade.
I was planning on contributing more to my own super at the end of this tax year, based on the advice of my accountant - now I'm left wondering why I should even give a shit.