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'Stick to super', industry fund told

Legalsuper has resisted the trend towards intra-fund financial advice, acting on feedback from members suggesting industry funds should stick to superannuation services.

Speaking to ifa, legalsuper chief executive Andrew Proebstl said his organisation has conducted a survey of 30,000 to 40,000 members which found investors are not interested in “trendy” services provided by superannuation funds, such as mobile app technology and intra-fund financial planning.

While other industry funds were “running around establishing large financial [advice] teams” in order to gain a perceived competitive advantage, legalsuper received feedback indicating many of its members thought these services were unnecessary.

“We did this research of our members around their financial planning requirements and their expectations of legalsuper and the research came back basically telling us, in a nutshell, we should stick to our knitting, which is basically ‘keep doing superannuation but don’t get distracted doing financial planning’,” Mr Proebstl said.

A majority of legalsuper members work in the legal profession and already have an external financial adviser, Mr Proebstl said, adding that the “real test” for superannuation funds is to provide services its members demand.

“If your members tell you resoundingly it’s not [something they want] then you’re pretty safe to not offer it,” he said.

Rather than initiate intra-fund advice services, legalsuper has “resolved to go down another path”, Mr Proebstl said, by entering into a referral partnership with Money Solutions, a financial planning firm owned by superannuation administrator AAS.

“If someone wants a full comprehensive financial plan, or quite detailed financial advice, they are referred off to Money Solutions,” Mr Proebstl said.