VicSuper was named Member Services Fund of the Year at the 2018 Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards.

CHOICE chief executive Alan Kirkland presented the award to VicSuper chief executive Michael Dundon at a black-tie gala dinner held at the Ivy Ballroom in Sydney on March 8.

“I’m most proud of the digital efforts that we’ve made,” Dundon said. “We’re moving forward in terms of engaging our members by offering robo-advice type education tools and packaging in a really personalised and integrated way.”

Other finalists for Member Services Fund of the Year were Cbus Super, QSuper, Sunsuper, TelstraSuper, and UniSuper.

Kirkland said the judges assessed the quality of member services based on several factors key to member satisfaction and engagement.

“The greatest emphasis was placed on the quality of a fund’s advice network – a key tool for members looking to improve their retirement outcomes,” Kirkland said. “The quality and accessibility of the funds’ websites and online tools were also important scoring criteria.”

The assessment also took into account ancillary benefits and complaints processing efficiency.

“VicSuper did well in every category – with a great website and, in particular, great online calculators,” Kirkland said. “It is clear the VicSuper team treats member services and satisfaction very seriously. Its win in this category reflects the skill and enthusiasm of its staff.”

It was just one of three trophies on the night for VicSuper, which also took home the awards for Best Advice Offering and Innovation and Transformation.

 

Click here to see a full list of all the winners.

About the awards

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull thanked all the winners and finalists for their contribution to making Australia’s superannuation system “even better”.

“There are few industries that have such significant and far-reaching effects on people’s lives,” Turnbull said. “One of the important ways we can build a better superannuation system is by encouraging and awarding innovation and excellence…tonight’s awards do just that.”

While there are many other awards nights on the industry calendar, the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards are unique in that they are not aligned with a research or ratings house, and do not charge funds to participate. Actuarial and consulting firm Rice Warner assists with quantitative analysis.

The judging committee comprises California State Teachers’ Retirement System chief investment officer Chris Ailman, Fund Executives Association Ltd (FEAL) chief executive Joanna Davison, CHOICE’s Kirkland, Financial Services Council chief executive Sally Loane, Rice Warner chief executive Michael Rice, and former minister for financial services and superannuation, the Hon. Bernie Ripoll.

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority deputy chair Helen Rowell is a special adviser to the judging committee, which remains the only truly independent awards panel in the sector.

“APRA views sound governance practices as fundamental to the delivery of value for money outcomes for members,” Rowell says. “I was, therefore very pleased to see the steps taken by the judging panel this year to enhance the approach to assessing governance and give it more weight in determining the winners in various categories.”

The 2018 Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards are produced with thanks to platinum sponsor AIA Australia and event partner FEAL.

“AIA is honoured to sponsor the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards, because we feel this is a great way of recognising the important work funds do, looking after millions of members,” AIA Australia head of corporate and master trust clients Anthony Clough said.

“As a purpose-led organisation, AIA has a partnership philosophy at the heart of our business, and funds are amongst our most important partners in the industry.”

READ MORE: Full coverage of the 2018 Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards

VIEW: Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards 2018 photo gallery 

Nearly $50,000 was raised on the night for the event’s charity partner The Wayside Chapel. Conexus Financial would like to thank guests for their generosity. If you would like to add to the tally, you can still donate via The Wayside Chapel website.

Tahn Sharpe is a Sydney-based financial services journalist with a background in financial planning. He writes on advice, superannuation, investment, banking and insurance issues, is a certified SMSF Adviser and holds an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning.