Members searching online for fund information over the past year will have noticed new websites with fresh and clean graphics, incorporating branding strategies and a number of features ranging from traditional retirement calculators and factsheets to videos, podcasts and social media posts. Tied in with this focus is further segmentation of memberships to communicate with specific groups of members. At the most basic level, this may involve something as simple as dividing a website into two sections, one for accumulation members and one for pension members, with tailored information in each section. Again, the most innovative funds are able to take this a few steps further and can provide messages targeted to much more specific groups of members, either online or as the basis for a phone call.
Members nearing their 55th birthday may, for example, receive a phone call from their fund’s financial planner alerting them to their ability to begin a transition to retirement (TTR) pension, and offering to provide a full statement of advice (SoA) through a fee-for-service model, if required. Such a level of segmentation requires up-to-date and accurate member data. Some are funds investing in administration capabilities to ensure that they will be able to successfully implement these strategies. With a year that involved industry consolidation together with a great deal of waiting for government policy to be announced, it is pleasing to see funds taking a renewed focus on advice and member engagement. This is more than tinkering around the edges: for too long funds have been able to sit idle and watch contributions and membership numbers rise courtesy of Australia’s compulsory superannuation system. With industry competition likely to heat up in the coming years and government reforms set to further shake up the industry, this renewed focus on value to members can only be a good thing.