The gap between consumer satisfaction with retail superannuation and industry funds has continued to widen, according to Roy Morgan Research.
Roy Morgan's latest survey of 50,000 Australians found that satisfaction with industry funds was 59.7 per cent for the six months to August 2016, compared to 57 per cent for retail funds.
Satisfaction with retail funds tends to be more sensitive than industry funds to movements in the ASX, said Roy Morgan, which can be seen the reduction in the satisfaction gap between 2012 and 2015 (when the ASX increased by 48.3 per cent).
"The widening of the gap back in favour of industry funds over the last year appears to be largely due to a drop in the ASX of around 10 per cent from its peak in 2015," said Roy Morgan.
Industry funds lead in satisfaction for all superannuation balances over $5000, the researcher found.
"For those holding less than $5000 in superannuation, retail funds have marginally higher satisfaction than industry funds (48.0 per cent compared to 47.5 per cent) but this segment accounts for only 0.2 per cent of total superannuation funds," said Roy Morgan.
Roy Morgan industry communications director Norman Morris noted that lower value customers have been a major focus of the recent banking inquiry.
“With intense competition between retail super funds and industry funds, it is important to understand what fund customers think regarding the financial performance of the two groups," Mr Morris said.
"It should ultimately be the customers who decide where their funds are best directed but there may be difficulties for many understanding or accessing performance tables, and advisers may also influence a less-than-optimum choice.
"Both groups face potential losses to self-managed funds from their higher value customers if satisfaction levels decline."
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