AvSuper has extended its financial personal advice service to provide a full in-house financial planning service to members.

The $2 billion fund appointed three fully qualified and licensed financial planners last month to serve its 6,500 members in air services (including pilots, air traffic controllers and those working in the airside fire service). They are also supporting the in-house call centre.

“When you’ve got two million members there’s no chance that you can hire enough financial planners to talk to all those people,” George Fishlock, chair of AvSuper, said speaking of the scale advantage of the fund’s membership size relative to its large assets under management.

He doesn’t believe there’s going to initially be a huge rush for the service, as the members are well informed and educated, partly because of the size of their balances – the average member balance in the defined contribution side is well over $300,000. He added the fund is also not starting from scratch as super is talked about in many of the staff induction sessions from the week they start.

Even with these advantages Fishlock said a lot of them still don’t know what to do with the money.

“Not being their job, it hasn’t been their business, and it’s been a real challenge for them to know what to do, but it’s also comforting that they’ve got people they can call in our organisation, rather than an external company, to be able to provide that insight,” Fishlock said.

He added the fund has always been clear minded that it should not outsource the customer service of the client base and has maintained an internal client service model for many years.

Previously, however, the fund did subcontract the provision of advice to an outside organisation, but it proved unsuccessful as “they were more interested in trying to divert members into their sort of products”. As a result Fishlock says much time was spent trying to repair the damage.

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