Superannuation fund Spaceship and trustee hit with $25,200 in ASIC fines for misleading claims

A superannuation fund aimed at the millennial market has been fined by the corporate regulator for falsely claiming it offers the “very best asset” choices.

Spaceship and its trustee Tidswell Financial Services have each been issued with $12,600 infringement notices by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for misleading claims over its GrowthX investment portfolio option.

According to ASIC, Spaceship said on its website “we will fight to get you the very best assets in your portfolio…. We will measure companies in our portfolio based on their ability to provide defensibility of profits and high levels of product differentiation”.

However, the regulator expressed concerns that Spaceship’s claims of getting the “very best assets” were misleading because 79% of the funds pool was invested in index-tracking funds, which involve no qualitative analysis of the companies the funds were being invested into.

“The accurate promotion of superannuation products is critical to enable Australian consumers to make well-informed financial decisions; particularly in this case given the Spaceship Fund was specifically targeting young investors,’ ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said in a statement.

In response to the infringement notices issued, Spaceship and Tidswell have removed the misleading statements. ASIC also said in its statement it will continue to monitor new entrants to the superannuation market to ensure their marketing material is factually accurate and not misleading.

As of June 2017, ASIC reported Spaceship had more than 6,000 members and $100 million funds in management. The super fund was established in 2017 after securing funding from investors including Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes.

The super fund told The ABC on Tuesday its paramount concern was to “act in our members’ best interests, and the challenge for all industry participants is to meet both regulatory standards and innovation demands from consumers”.

SmartCompany contacted Spaceship for further comment but did not receive a response prior to publication.

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