QSuper has won Pension Fund of the Year at the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards 2017 for the fourth year in a row, a feat acknowledged by the government’s spokesperson on superannuation.
Financial Services Minster Kelly O’Dwyer recorded a video to announce the award, noting that the judges had recognised QSuper’s pension offering for its breadth of features, low volatility, and flexibility.
“QSuper was recognised by the judges for continually improving its pension option to guide members on a safe path to retirement,” O’Dwyer said.
“In a volatile economic environment, it is vital that member outcomes are maximised, while mitigating risk exposure.”
QSuper chief executive Michael Pennisi said super funds needed to provide members with guidance to make better decisions for their retirement earlier in life.
“The retirement journey does not start the day a member hits 60; it starts from the day they start saving,” Pennisi said.
He said the industry needed to realise that solving the retirement income challenge would never be just about product.
“Sometimes we as an industry jump to a product solution. In the post-retirement phase, it’s actually about information and advice and guidance. That is the thing that drives you.”
In 2016 QSuper introduced a ‘transfer bonus’ for retiring members who opt to open a self-funded pension rather than taking a lump sum. Pennisi said this was one example of how the fund is helping to guide its members as they transition into retirement.
So far, the bonus has added more than $4 million to members’ accounts.
“You can bring them all the way to retirement, but once there you got to guide them to make the right decisions and you’ve got to enable them,” Pennisi said. “If they don’t want to make a call or they just want to trust you there’s got to be a really great solution ready-made for them.”
The Federal government currently has a consultation paper out about the development of comprehensive income products for retirement (CIPRs).
“We are talking a lot with federal Treasury about CIPRs and we have done a lot of thinking in the longevity space. What we are trying to work out is how is that going to marry up with what CIPR is.
“I would have to say people in Treasury are open, now whether they are able to deliver the things we think is needed is a different story.”
The $65 billion super fund for Queensland public sector workers also won Large Fund of the Year.
The other finalists in the Pension Fund of the Year category were Cbus, UniSuper and Sunsuper.
More than $86,000 was raised for The Wayside Chapel, which was the charity partner for the the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards 2017, at the gala dinner to announce the winners in Sydney on March 9. To donate to Wayside click here.