Super funds are overlooking women who are equally involved in or actually make 90 per cent of the financial decisions in households, in their promotions and advertising to new members, research from CoreData reveals.

CoreData group chief executive officer Andrew Inwood said super funds must better tailor their offerings to women.

“Whether we admit it or not… women make decisions about finance fundamentally differently to men,’’ Inwood said.

“Women are very good at thinking about the future as opposed to men… women are better at seeking advice and help in terms of financial services… [and] women are much more likely to make decisions around utility than emotional drivers.”

Return and cost versus engagement

Inwood said men are more focused on return and cost while women were more focused on engagement and how their fund would care for and service them.

Andrew Inwood

Yet super funds are missing the mark when it comes to attracting or appealing to potential members, he said.

“None of the advertising or promotion is about: ‘come to us, we actually will tell you the truth and give you great service’,’’ Inwood said.

“It’s all about: ‘it’s really cheap’ and that’s interesting, but not super important.

“Price isn’t the only integer… the service integer, the caring integer, that focus on better outcomes for you as an individual, is not something which is coming up in a common conversation.’’

Seeking advice

The research showed half of women had never sought a financial planner’s advice, compared with 40 per cent of men and 37 per cent were not prepared, or particularly prepared for retirement compared with 20 per cent of men.

Women were the sole decision maker, or at least equally involved, in financial decision making in more than nine out of 10 instances, even when living with a partner, the research revealed.

This included 44 per cent of women surveyed saying they were the sole decision maker when it came to changing their superannuation provider, compared with 26 per cent of men living in a partnership in a household.

Inwood said there was a large gap for the financial industry to improve up, particularly with providing information and accessibility as well as eliminating the gap in investment knowledge and confidence between the genders so that everyone felt well-prepared for retirement.

However he said the super industry went against the trend of other finance sectors in having a number of “excellent women” leading superannuation funds.

“Given that [women are] three to four times more likely to make the decision and three to four times more likely to execute… why are we focusing on price as a driver,” Inwood said.

“As long as the performance isn’t terrible, as long as it’s greater than 10 per cent a year, what (women) are focusing on is: ‘how interested is this group in actually making sure that I’m happy?’.’’

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