Aware Super has claimed that the migration of more than 1.1 million members onto a single technology platform has established it as the “super fund of the future” on a local and global scale and created an operating model blueprint for Australia’s super industry.
The $160 billion super fund said that the migration, which involved phasing out paper-based legacy systems and a transition to the Bravura Sonata Alta platform, will allow it to deliver exceptional member services and to reduce costs and fees.
According to Aware chief executive officer Deanne Stewart, the digital transformation was key to enabling the super fund to fully realise the benefits of scale achieved through its notable mergers in recent years, including with First State Super, VicSuper, WA Super, and StatePlus.
Ms Stewart argued that super and pension funds were “long overdue” for digital transformation.
“To stay competitive and meet new regulations, they need to give members the kind of intuitive digital experience consumers now expect everywhere else in the global economy,” she said.
“The key prize we’ve achieved for Aware Super members is a single platform that allows us to personalise and control the member experience from end-to-end so that they can now transact and get help digitally for all their needs.
“This gives us unprecedented ability to help members how they need, when they need, whenever they want, by providing a simple and intuitive interface, sight of all their investments, and more control – but at a lower cost to serve.”
As a result, Ms Stewart said Aware had “brought super into the 21st century” by providing seamless real-time service experiences that Australians expect.
Globally, pension funds are facing the challenge of balancing the complexity of retirement schemes with the need to improve the member experience, ensure security, and provide advice to members while also lowering costs, according to Bravura interim CEO Andrew Russell.
“Working together with Aware Super, we’ve successfully managed to deliver on those benefits while lowering costs using our Sonata Alta BPaaS (business process as a service) platform,” he said.
Among the benefits for members flagged by Aware is more direct oversight of super and greater control over retirement planning via a digital portal. This portal allows for real time tracking of transactions and will reduce transaction processing times by weeks in some cases.
“Reaching this milestone really establishes that large-scale digital transformation is not only possible in superannuation – it’s an essential step for any large fund that intends to support members over the next three decades,” Ms Stewart said.
“This project is evidence of Aware Super’s deep experience of safely delivering large, complex changes. Our foundational merger between First State Super and VicSuper was the largest in the industry at the time, and delivering this transformation is a further celebration of our team’s expertise in safely delivering highly complex projects successfully.”
Last month, the super fund rolled out a suite of investment options catering to members seeking high growth opportunities, including a new High Growth Socially Conscious actively managed option and a new High Growth Indexed option.
Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.