Super fund advocates for ‘personalised help’ for retirees
Aware Super believes the demand for single-topic advice — which advice super funds are capable of offering — is due to increase.
Aware Super has voiced its support for the Quality of Advice Review (QAR) while revealing that a new study of its over 100,000 members has found that advised members had an average of 22 per cent more funds in their super, equating to almost $150,000 in retirement savings.
The findings of the study, which were made public earlier this week, highlighted the critical role advice plays in helping Australians achieve their retirement outcomes.
“Aware Super believes wholeheartedly in the value that high-quality financial advice can deliver to all Australians,” said Aware Super’s chief executive officer, Deanne Stewart.
“In addition to comprehensive financial advice and retirement planning, we also know that there’s an unmet demand for personalised help among members of all super funds — advice that’s incredibly valuable to the member, but not necessarily in the same realm as whole-of-life financial planning.”
Last week, QAR reviewer Michelle Levy doubled down on her proposal to allow superannuation funds back into advice, alongside banks and insurers. Speaking at the FPA Professionals Congress, Ms Levy reiterated her belief that advice is episodic and that a diversity of providers should be allowed to provide it.
“This is intended to help you do your job,” Ms Levy told advisers.
While not directly referencing Ms Levy’s recommendations, Ms Stewart stressed the need to increase the quantity of assistance that can be provided to Australians.
“Under the current advice regime it simply wouldn’t be possible to provide — or for individuals to afford — all of the advice that Australian consumers require,” Ms Stewart said.
“Our hope is that through research like that which we’re now undertaking, we can provide meaningful insights to show the benefits of financial advice in helping members achieve better retirement outcomes.
“From a fund perspective, those insights can also inform the design of affordable and accessible advice, help and guidance solutions to help more Australians.”
It was additionally identified that advised clients recorded nearly 2.5 times greater voluntary, tax-efficient contributions than non-advised clients.
Moreover, advised clients were said to have consolidated twice the average amount of superannuation from other accounts, compared with non-advised members.
Aware Super also analysed several advice-seeking behaviours, including the growth of “single topic” advice, an area that Ms Stewart said is dramatically underserved in the financial market.
“We’re expecting to see significant growth in demand for single-topic advice — things like members receiving an inheritance and wanting some tailored, personalised advice about what to do with it but not necessarily being in a position to want or need a more comprehensive conversation about their circumstances at that time.”
This, she added, also creates an “incredibly fertile ground” for innovations in digital advice.