As Australia’s $1.4 trillion superannuation industry celebrates its 20 year anniversary – and debate continues to rage on lifting the minimum contribution from 9 to 12 per cent – technology chiefs are being encouraged to reinvent key business functions if they are to capitalise on the spike in member activity.
Among the key areas in need of a makeover are the administration of superannuation funds and traditional customer engagement strategies.
Following the launch of her widely-acclaimed book, A Super Industry, author Christine St Anne said that while the first phase of compulsory superannuation was about nurturing the industry and developing a solid base of funds under management, today it’s all about the member experience. The book offers an insightful, if not controversial, chronicle of the key players who shaped the lucrative sector, with insights shared by Paul Keating, Bill Kelty and Simon Crean to name a few.
Speaking with FST Media, St Anne shared her perspective on the critical role innovation will play in sustaining the phenomenal rise of the super funds industry.
"Modernising the administration of funds is of great interest as a growing base of baby boomers retire and draw down on their funds," St Anne said.
"Keeping abreast of the innovation curve in the super industry has never been more important. This is largely due to the increasing number of people wanting a seamless experience in how they access their retirement funds and, equally important, how they engage with their fund provider."
Social media is also emerging as an important tool in how companies are transforming the way providers are interacting with existing and prospective customers.
“I think funds are now getting a grasp on social media. Five years ago there wasn’t that much discussion of the potential social media holds, but the tide has turned. A case in point is Hesta. They have demonstrated that Facebook is a useful social media channel in registering interest in the market."
St Anne says that profiles of super fund members are a key driver in transforming engagement strategies.
"HostPlus is an example of an organisation that refined its customer retention strategies, responding to the needs of its large member group in a younger age bracket."