Super funds are looking at digital advice as a must-have as they scramble to retain older, wealthier members leaving for SMSFs, an industry technology provider has said.
Bravura client relations and sales director for APAC, Paul Dunn, said the listed software group was working with a number of major super funds to “ramp up their digital advice offerings” and help better engage and retain members as they reached retirement.
“Super funds have an important and fundamental role underpinning the retirement lifestyles of all Australians,” Mr Dunn said.
“Offering greater levels of support delivered through scalable digital advice is becoming an important way for funds to engage and educate members.
“Older members with higher balances naturally seek financial advice, often prompting them to switch to a new fund or a self-managed super fund. This undermines the scale of the fund they are leaving, which is critical to keeping fees and other costs low. Digital advice delivered at scale is part of the solution.”
Annie McCabe, head of professional services for Midwinter – the Bravura-owned advice software used by the group’s super fund clients – said delivery of advice at scale was becoming more important for funds as the government’s incoming reforms to the sector incentivised more mergers.
“The digital channel can help meet the significant unmet demand for financial advice in the community, particularly for those who would not otherwise seek advice due to its cost or because of inertia,” Ms McCabe said.
“Digital advice is helping financial planners become more efficient and deliver high-quality strategic advice – now the same underlying advice engine is also helping super funds deliver advice to their members.”
Mr Dunn added that digital advice presented an opportunity for funds to regularly engage with members at each stage of their financial lives.
“Funds should be the go-to destination for members during their ‘moments that matter’, such as approaching retirement. The technology now exists to integrate intuitive digital advice with an administration platform, creating quality advice at scale,” Mr Dunn said.
“The advice is immediately executable by the member and produces a compliant Statement of Advice. A member’s relationship with their super fund could ultimately become as seamless and self-directed as the relationship they have with internet banking.”
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