Local Government Super (LGS) has received a five star rating from CANSTAR across every member profile for its account based pension.
This is the highest rating granted by the independent, specialist researcher, and is the third year in a row that LGS has scored five stars.
For its analysis, CANSTAR uses three profiles (based on theoretical members with low, medium and high account balances) and assess on value-for-money how well the product serves them across six features based.
These six features are financial advice and education; investment options; member access; beneficiary options and death benefit; income payment options; and other fees/charges.
Out of the 64 account based pension products from 58 providers evaluated by CANSTAR only four received five star rating across all the profiles. Aside from LGS, the other financial institutions to achieve this were ANZ, ClubPlus and ING.
Josh Callaghan, general manager of wealth at CANSTAR, said: “LGS have consistently proven themselves to be providing outstanding value to their members in both their accumulation and pension products. We congratulate LGS on being awarded the CANSTAR Outstanding Value award for the third year in a row for pensions.”
According to Callaghan LGS were very strong in investment options and comprehensive advice.
LGS chief executive officer, Peter Lambert, said: “For me sequencing risk is very much an advice issue and all our members that go into an account based pension generally take up advice, so we are able to talk to members about putting the money into buckets if they want to take a risk exposure or high exposure to growth assets.”
The super fund also provides advice to members once a year through road shows, and as such are able to keep members engaged and informed cost effectively.
Lambert also drew attention to total costs, which he said came in well below the market average with particularly competitive investment fees.
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“We’ve also got a mixture of smart beta or enhanced passive, whatever you wish to call it, and we try to put blend it where we feel active adds value in a space, and where it doesn’t we use a cost conscious manager,” Lambert said.
“By having that blend we have been able to ensure that we maintain our rating across the low, medium and high balances.”
Looking to the future ratings, Lambert said LGS would continue to enhance account based pensions, with a variety of ideas being examined, such as online redemptions and auto-rebalancing to allow pension members to segment their investments according to their risk preferences.