Retail funds most at risk of losing members: CoreData

Three in 10 super fund members would change their fund if they could “get around to it”, according to a Core Data member engagement report, with retail fund members the most likely to switch. 

Although retail fund satisfaction with performance increased from 42.1 per cent in 2012 to 54.7 per cent in 2013, they still represented the least happy members, Core Data said. 

“Retail funds are in the largest danger of member churn, with 31.1 per cent of retail fund respondents saying they would change if they could get around to it, and 23.6 per cent actively looking to do so,” Core Data head of advice, wealth and super Salvadore Saiz said. 

Retail fund members were also most likely to switch to a self-managed super fund, the report said, while one in 10 respondents overall would consider the move. 

However, across all fund types, one in five (21.3 per cent) respondents said they would change their fund if they found the motivation, while 14.7 per cent were actively looking. 

Despite reports that super funds are on track to deliver the highest return year in 15 years, the report found that only two out of three members are satisfied with their fund’s performance. 

Overall satisfaction increased from 50.8 per cent in 2012 to 62.1 per cent in 2013, with corporate fund members most satisfied. 

The take-up of financial planning was low at only 16.2 per cent. Over one in four corporate fund members had used their fund’s planning service, whilst only 10.8 per cent had utilised an industry fund financial planning service. 

Saiz said that although most respondents said they did not need financial planning, one in three were unaware their super fund offered it. 

Despite rising satisfaction and efforts by super funds to engage members, engagement increased from 57.8 per cent to just 59.1 per cent from 2012 to 2013. 

Members wanted personalised communication, according to Saiz. 

“The research shows that email is the preferred method of contact by super members; however what is also clear is that members not only want more frequency of contact ... they want it to be relevant and be tailored to them and their life stage,” he said. 

A lack of engagement may translate into deficient savings habits, as two thirds of members were not making any additional contribution to their superannuation.

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