FAQs. Self Help
What are the changes?
APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) has made changes in the way Religious Charitable Development Funds (RCDFs) like Uniting Financial Services (UFS) operate. From 1 January 2018, UFS will no longer be able to offer our At Call – Self Help Investment product to any personal investors because under the new reform, funds cannot be held at call. The new requirement means that UFS can only offer investments with a minimum term of 31 days (Church organisations are exempt)
What will happen to my investment?
Unless we have instructions directing us to make alternative arrangements, your investment will automatically be subject to the new Self Help terms and conditions. There will be no change to your investment number but future access to funds will require a minimum notice period of 31 days (unless a case hardship exists. Any scheduled transactions such as periodical payments, direct debit/credits or BPay@ transactions can no longer be made.
What are the key changes to the terms and conditions of your Self Help Investment?
- Withdrawals will require 31 days’ written notice
- No Scheduled transactions such as Periodical Payments, Direct Debits/Credits or BPay transactions are allowed
- Online Access will be “view only”.
Where can I find the terms and conditions?
FSG & PIB:
Alternatively, you can call the Partnership team on 1300 133 673 or email:
What do I need to do?
If you wish the investment to continue, you will not be required to do anything. You will however need to make alternative arrangements for any existing Scheduled Transactions (Periodical Payments, Direct Debits/Credits and BPay transactions), as the imposed restrictions will no longer allow for these types of payments to be made.
These changes don’t work for me and I want to close my investment – what can I do?
We regret this change to legislation will unavoidably impact the way you operate your investment, however please remember we are here to help you work through this and as you know the Uniting Church benefits from every dollar that is invested with UFS. Of course we are not in the business of preventing you from accessing your funds within the limits of the new legislation. You can close your investment but after 1 January 2018, thirty-one days’ written notice will be required (unless a case of hardship applies)
How do I open a new investment or convert my funds to a different type of investment?
You will be required to complete an application form and provide the requested identification documentation.
How do I add funds to my investment in the future?
Additional funds may be added at any time by completing a One-Off Direct Debit form which will give UFS authority to debit your nominated account. Please see link:
You can also post in a cheque, along with an investment slip which let us know where to deposit funds.
I currently have my pension/Super paid into this Self Help investment every month, are these Direct Credits going to still come through with these new restrictions?
No, scheduled transactions are no longer permitted under the regulations imposed by APRA. You will still be able to contribute to the investment on an ad hoc basis but automatic regular scheduled transactions are not allowed.
Are there longer terms available for Self Help funds?
We are currently working on expanding the product offering to longer dated investments with terms of up to 60 months, but for now it is only 31 days.
What is the minimum amount required to open a new investment?
Minimum initial investment amount is $100 for 31 day terms.
How will I be able to withdraw from my investment?
You can request to withdraw funds at any time, but withdrawals can only be made after 31 days’ written notice has been received by UFS unless a case of hardship exists. Notice begins from the date on which UFS has received your written request at its office. Only funds that have been held for a minimum of 31 days can be accessed.
If I can’t withdraw online this means notice via Australia Post will take much longer to get to you - how can I get around this? What methods of communication can I use when requesting a withdrawal?
1. If you have an Email/Facsimile Letter of Authority in place, you can send a scanned and signed withdrawal or request through to:
We recommend you consider lodging an Email/Facsimile Letter of Authority with us now so that you can email or fax us your written notice in future. The form can be downloaded from our website and the original must be received by us before we can accept any notice provided this way.
Please visit the below link to download, complete and mail the form to UFS.
2. Alternatively, you can send your written and signed request by Australia Post to us at :
Uniting Financial Services
Reply Paid 2178
SYDNEY SOUTH NSW 1234
Note: No postage stamp is required
How will interest be calculated on the investment?
Interest will continue to be calculated daily and credited to your nominated scheme, quarterly on the last day of March, June, September and December each year.
Will statements still be sent out? How can I keep track of my funds?
Statements will continue to go out every quarter. If you currently have Uniting Online, you can view your balance and keep track of transactions using your current access code.
To apply for Uniting Online, the form can be downloaded from our website:
Will these changes now mean you will pass on fees?
There will continue to be no transaction or investment maintenance fees on these investments and you will still be able to order cheques (other than Westpac Bank Cheques) at no cost.
Interest rates and fees are detailed in Part 2 and Part 3 respectively of the PIB.
How are these changes going to be impact my congregation?
There will be no impact to the benefitting congregation or other church entity while ever your investment remains opened. They will still have the same access to your contributions as they currently do.
How does UFS define hardship?
Uniting Financial Services has introduced guidelines on how you can access your funds early. These guidelines define what may be considered as hardship circumstances. This list is not exhaustive and we will consider all applications for hardship on a case by case basis. We hope to have these guidelines along with an application form available on our website soon.