Superannuation funds have made some strides in transitioning to digital platforms and online communication, but the process has been challenging for them, according to Investment Trends.
Researcher Investment Trends’ latest Super Fund Member Engagement report, compiled from surveys of the member services and activities of Australia’s largest 44 super funds, has found that super funds are “still learning to manage” their move to the online space.
“Many super funds are making inroads in the development of their digital member service platform, but the move from internal processing systems to real-time member facing applications has been challenging,” said a statement from Investment Trends.
Investment Trends technology analyst Ian Webster said the report found several super funds encountered various online stumbling blocks.
“This year, we observe many funds struggling with the reliability, consistency and quality issues in the real-time digital-based channels used to support and interact with their members,” he said.
“However, super funds are gradually mastering the challenge of managing these channels more effectively, building upon basic content publishing towards digital channels that provide easy access to services and promote two-way engagement with members.”
Among the top 10 super funds ranked according to overall member engagement score, nine were industry funds, with ANZ Smart Choice representing the only retail fund at tenth place.
AustralianSuper took out first place, followed by Sunsuper, HESTA, QSuper, HOSTPLUS, Rest Super, Cbus Super, Vic Super and NGS Super.
Mr Webster pointed to HESTA, Sunsuper and AustralianSuper which had all made developments to their website and were “shining examples of industry funds adopting a ‘member first’ approach”.
“The last 12 months alone saw a host of interesting developments by super funds, including an increase in the number of fund mobile apps, increased social media activity, and direct engagement through online chat and bot-based applications,” he said.
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