Super members thirsty for financial advice

Andrew Starke


October 18, 2012

More than half of members in the superannuation industry are disengaged (50.6 per cent), with many expressing a desire for financial advice.

The same survey also concluded that more frequent and better quality communication from their fund would help foster a closer relationship.

CoreData’s Member Engagement Report 2012 found that the majority of members (62.3 per cent) prefer summaries when it comes to communication from their fund, with the ability to access the detail if they need it.

The research, which was carried out via an online survey in September 2012, collected a total of 1,030 responses from Australian super fund members across all sectors.

The study found there is significant room to improve satisfaction and engagement in the super industry, and a growing desire for financial advice and information.

At least one quarter of super fund members (26 per cent) are highly engaged, while a further 23.4 per cent are at least somewhat engaged.

Another satisfied customer

CoreData’s Super Engagement Index is built around the core components of engagement behaviour, engagement attitude, satisfaction and intention, and covers aspects such as member activity (ie additional contributions), length of membership, trust in the fund, and intention to continue to use and recommend.

Self-managed super funds (SMSFs) and corporate funds have the highest proportion of engaged members across sectors, while SMSFs and public sector funds have the largest number of satisfied members.

Telstra Super and QSuper have the highest proportion of engaged members of the 18 super funds that qualified for the individual fund benchmarking.

Engagement class By Super fund type

The survey found that while investment performance remains a key driver of member satisfaction, ‘other benefits’ such as financial advice, seminars and insurance have become an increasingly important driver reflecting a trend towards control and information.

When asked what they would like to see their main super fund offer more or provide better than it currently does, two in five members (41.2 per cent) cited access to financial advice while one quarter listed investment options such as direct equities and term deposits (27.7 per cent) and flexibility and control over investments (26.2 per cent).

Respondents are most likely to seek a relationships manager they can call when they have queries (36.7 per cent). While a third would like their super fund to be more personable (30.8 per cent), one in five would like to be contacted more frequently (21.9 per cent).

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