Industry fund members are more satisfied with their super than SMSF and retail members and people with more super money tend to be more satisfied than people with less, Roy Morgan super fund satisfaction ratings show.

Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine explains that at the top end of the market, industry funds are doing especially well at satisfying customers. For example, industry fund members with $250,000 or more have higher satisfaction with the financial performance of their fund than those belonging to either retail funds or those with a self-managed fund (SMSF).

Furthermore, the highest satisfaction at industry funds was for those members with balances of $700,000 or more. This is perhaps surprising, given that SMSFs with large balances have been growing in number.

“It may well be that there are fees that eat into a lower balance and it’s more painful when fees come out, as you can go negative,” Levine says. “We’ve always thought that SMSFs have the highest level of satisfaction and in a global sense they do. But at the top end, industry super funds are now satisfying customers more than people who are doing it themselves.”

Overall, SMSFs lead all fund types in satisfaction, with a 74 per cent rating, down 2.6 percentage points over the last year. This is because they have few members with balances of less than $100,000, the area with the lowest satisfaction, Roy Morgan says.

The satisfaction for industry funds measured at 61 per cent, up 3.7 percentage points over the year, followed by retail funds, with 59 per cent, up only slightly. Satisfaction notably dips among retail fund members in the $5000 to $99,999 bracket.

Major retail funds represented in the survey include ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac.

Breaking down the numbers

To work out the differences in satisfaction among funds, Roy Morgan surveyed more than 30,000 super fund members. It then produced rankings for both industry and retail funds, based on customer satisfaction with financial performance specifically.

A satisfaction rating was recorded with either a ‘very satisfied’ or ‘fairly satisfied’ response and the total was counted as a percentage of all interviewees from a particular fund, or within a fund category.

The leading retail player in the rankings is IOOF, with about 70 per cent of its customers satisfied with the fund’s performance. Meanwhile, industry fund Tasplan continues to excel at satisfying its members, with a satisfaction level of 75 per cent. This is the fund’s seventh consecutive month at the top of the industry fund category.

The methodology

It should be noted that sample sizes for some funds were smaller than others. For example, a larger fund with more members usually contributed more respondents to the survey than a smaller fund. The minimum number for all funds was 100 respondents and in some cases a sample size included several hundred respondents.

Roy Morgan’s satisfaction scoring gives some insight into which funds are best meeting their customers’ needs but the engagement levels of those interviewed obviously vary. For example, those with larger amounts in their account might simply be more engaged than others, Roy Morgan states.

The ratings are updated every month and Levine says that is to keep super fund performance on the consumer radar.

As such, there are regular fluctuations in the survey, which has run for about 10 years, though the movements of each fund tend to align with their broader financial performance in the marketplace, Roy Morgan states.

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