Retail super blooms as switching increases

One in 10 members has switched super funds in the past year – the highest level of changing funds since 2010, according to a recent study by Investment Trends.

The proportion of those intending to switch in the future has also increased, the study found. Those who switched opted for "the new generation of retail funds", which include BT Super for Life, ANZ Smart Choice and CBA Essential Super.

Direct-to-consumer funds attracted 12 per cent of those who switched and appealed to a younger demographic, with half of those who chose direct-to-consumer aged under 30 years, according to Investment Trends.

"Existing banking relationships are, overwhelmingly, the strongest driver of the direct to consumer growth, and some banks have been very successful at using their retail banking channel to grow a base for younger members," said Investment Trends analyst Irene Guiamatsia.

"If they become 'customers for life', like transactional banking customers have been, then these funds could transform the Australian superannuation space quite radically in the next few decades."

At the same time, the study found that member satisfaction had declined slightly in three areas.

Overall satisfaction ratings dropped industry-wide when it came to "helping members feel confident about the future", "direction on what to do next" and "advice offering", according to the report.

"Members are asking the manager of their retirement funds to provide direction and reassurance about their individual situation. Our research also shows that when super funds are able to engage their members' interest, they are more satisfied and also more confident about the future, and there lies opportunity," Ms Guiamatsia said.

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