The top three priorities for leaders across the super industry for the next three years are better engagement between funds and fund members, operational efficiency and post-retirement products. This was a key finding from the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) and PwC CEO Survey released today.
ASFA CEO Ms Pauline Vamos says after a year of navigating the complex array of new regulatory and compliance requirements, fund CEOs have placed the focus on adopting a variety of approaches to improving member engagement as their top priority.
"This will drive continued innovation in member communications as well as in educational and self-help tools. As more and more fund members move into the retirement phase, there will also be increased attention on opening up more options for retirement income streams and providing appropriate advice and financial education for those approaching this stage of life."
The survey also found funds want to build on the increase in member satisfaction that has occurred due to strong investment returns in 2012-13 by striving to keep investment management fees down.
"Funds are also looking at ways to improve investment governance. The respondents to the survey scored themselves highly on the monitoring and management of investment managers, strategic asset allocation as well as negotiating investment management fees. Interestingly, the areas they will now focus more on are active share ownership, sustainability and after-tax reporting," says Ms Vamos.
"The other interesting finding was that around 75 per cent of respondents do not intend to insource their investment management over the next three years. The main reasons cited for this were cost, scale and risk appetite. This finding will be surprising to many people as it goes against the trend we have seen in recent years. It shows funds understand that insourcing funds management involves a very different risk profile and needs careful consideration."
Operational matters have also been a priority for leaders. David Coogan, Superannuation Industry Leader at PwC, said that CEOs are confident they are able to comply with the Stronger Super regulation. Indeed, the majority of respondents said they were fully compliant and had embedded the requirements into business as usual.
"Costs are expected to continue to increase slightly in the next three years as the costs of technology, member engagement and increased regulatory compliance outweigh any savings that may have been realised from the introduction of MySuper and SuperStream," Mr Coogan concluded.
For further information, please contact:
Lisa Chikarovski, Media Manager, 0451 949 300.
Copies of the survey report are available from both the ASFA and PwC websites from the following links:
ASFA is the peak policy, research and advocacy body for Australia's superannuation industry. It is a not-for-profit, sector-neutral, and non-party political national organisation, which aims is to advance effective retirement outcomes for members of funds through research, advocacy and the development of policy and industry best practice.
PwC Australia helps organisations and individuals create the value they're looking for. It is a member of the PwC network of firms in 158 countries with close to 169,000 people. PwC is committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services.