Industry fund launches SMSF suitability tool
With a significant chunk of the fund's members moving to set up SMSFs, one industry fund has launched an online tool designed to “assess an individual’s suitability for managing their own SMSF”.
SMSF Adviser first learnt NGS Super would be launching tools such as these late last year, after chief executive Anthony Rodwell-Ball expressed concern that some investors may be seeing SMSFs as a “fashion accessory” and are not appropriately considering the associated risks.
Mr Rodwell-Ball said the new ‘SMSF Profiler’ is an “online, multiple choice questionnaire that assesses an individual’s suitability for managing their own SMSF across pivotal areas”.
The tool’s disclaimer states that the assessment does not take into account personal objectives or financial situation, with conclusions based on “a range of assumptions and methodology”.
Speaking to SMSF Adviser, manager of marketing and strategy Lisa Samuels said based on research conducted on NGS Super’s members, the fund has “concern [individuals] don’t fully understand their decision to establish an SMSF'.
In addition, Ms Samuels said there has been strong interest among the fund's members in regard to setting up SMSFs.
“We sent some information out to a group of members, and more than 10 per cent of that group of members went and used the tool,” she said.
Ms Samuels said that through the tool, NGS Super wants to provide members with a “balanced view” on whether an SMSF is appropriate for them.
“We’re not saying SMSFs are good or bad; we’re just saying there’s information you need to understand,” she said.
“There are different outcomes about their suitability and different messages about their suitability; basically the response people receive is customised to how people answer the question.”
Individuals who are deemed ‘suitable for an SMSF’ after completing the assessment are then directed to an advertisement for NGS Super’s financial planners.
Despite this, however, Ms Samuels stated that NGS Super’s advisers would not advise a client to actually establish an SMSF or advise them on how to establish one.
“We have an arrangement with a third party that would help facilitate that, so it wouldn’t be one of our advisers, but we could, if a member decided that that was the right decision for them, then we would refer them on,” she said.
Ms Samuels could not confirm whether NGS Super was benefitting from this third-party relationship.
She stated no members as of yet have been referred to this third party.
“I mean, if we refer them, then we’ve potentially lost that member [from] NGS,” she said.
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.