Stronger digital engagement with members has been a focus for six funds shortlisted for Member Services Fund of the Year in the 2018 Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards, to be announced on March 8.

Industry and public-sector funds dominated the list of finalists, with Cbus Super, QSuper, Sunsuper, UniSuper, VicSuper and Australia’s largest corporate fund, TelstraSuper, all shortlisted.

Judges for the awards will consider a fund’s ongoing communication and education with members – including details such as whether its call-centre staff are available through toll-free or reduced-rate calls – along with ancillary benefits such as spouse accounts, contribution splitting, transition-to-retirement products, discounted banking products and auto balancing. Funds will also gain credit if they accept overseas pension transfers or are a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme.

TelstraSuper: the first touch point

TelstraSuper highlighted its “huge year” spent transforming its digital offerings for its 100,000 members.

“TelstraSuper members are increasingly embracing technology and innovation in their day-to-day lives, so our brand and user experience needed to reflect that while keeping the trust and engagement we had already built,” chief executive Chris Davies says. “Our members make more than 1.4 million webpage visits a year, and are twice as digitally active as average super fund members. We knew from our data that online was becoming their first touch point so we needed to make sure we were offering premium digital services.”

In the year ahead, the fund aims to further refine its communications, including making changes to member statements and providing education on super changes, such as the recently enacted First Home Super Savers Scheme.

Cbus: service and performance

Cbus chief executive David Atkin says member service was coupled with the fund’s need to provide good financial performance.

“At Cbus, members are at the heart of everything we do,” Atkin says. “We look after members by creating solutions that meet their needs, delivering a service that earns their trust and providing strong returns.”

VicSuper: members make Beeline to better service

The 2017 Member Services Fund of the Year winner, VicSuper, has again been nominated, for its expanded offerings.

VicSuper marketing operations manager Narelle Turnock says the introduction of education and advice services through its online guidance and robo-advice tool, Beeline, has been popular.

“After only a few months, we’ve already seen about 2 per cent of our entire member base jumping on board, creating their own personalised dashboards and getting the advice they need to make a difference, with 10 per cent of users electing to receive an online Statement of Advice,” Turnock says. “We’ve released our quarterly contribution confirmation service to members and have developed a new online joining experience, more than doubling our prospect-to-member conversions since it went live.”

QSuper: better through behavioural science

QSuper chief of member experience Jason Murray says the public-sector fund with 500,000 members has increased its spending on digital platforms based on human-centric design, which has driven efficiencies to keep fees low.

“We’ve made significant investment in our core systems, digital services and information management to improve agility and efficiency,” Murray says.

Looking to 2018, QSuper plans to expand its behavioural science and technology solutions to ensure that “every interaction a member has with us leads them to a better outcome”, he says.

Murray hopes to maintain the fund’s leadership position in the design of smart default solutions.

The 2018 Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards are sponsored by event partner AIA Australia. All winners will be announced at a special black-tie event on Thursday, March 8, at the Ivy Ballroom, Sydney. Tickets are now available. To book, click here.

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