Super funds focus on retirement engagement

09-Feb-2016

By Elizabeth Somerville

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Superannuation funds are increasingly adopting strategies to better engage members in retirement and post-retirement in response to Australia’s ageing population.

Investment Trends’ “2015 Member Engagement Report”, which surveyed 44 of Australia’s largest super funds, found funds were deviating from their traditional focus on pre-retirement adequacy and instead looking at the services their members would need at retirement and beyond.

“As increasing numbers of members reach retirement, funds have a key role to play in the provision of retirement advice, particularly to members whom the adviser-focused comprehensive advice model is unable to service,” Investment Trends technology analyst Ian Webster said.

“The differences between retirement and investment advice provide an opportunity for funds to develop a member benefits-focused advice model to be delivered at the time most members will be looking for retirement advice.”

VicSuper, Equipsuper and Australian Catholic Super have already introduced retirement income propositions for members, all of which are supported by new products and offered as part of an options-based approach to retirement.

A number of funds have also evolved with regards to how they approach member funds and are now providing member super account services as opposed to just being a custodian of funds.

“The proliferation of self-directed account services on super admin platforms enable funds to use their education and engagement activities to help each member improve their retirement benefits,” Webster said.

“Digital technology is providing funds with the ability to deliver cost-effective member engagement strategies with a focus on individual members’ relationship with their fund and super account.”

QSuper was leading the way in that regard following Deloitte Digital’s rebuild of its online channel, which now offered account based, self-directed intra-fund advice from Decimal, he said.

This placed the fund second behind AustralianSuper for the best all-round fund for member engagement services.

NGSSuper, Sunsuper and Hostplus rounded out the top five, while Sunsuper was found to have the most innovative social and digital media member engagement team in financial services.

The survey also recognised AMP for its attention to service design, which continued to deliver a high standard for member transaction services, and QSuper for the group’s rebuild of its online channel, both of which had earned the funds awards for excellence in member engagement services.

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