The RIC challenges membership engagement

The Retirement Income Covenant will make it difficult for superannuation members to engage with new types of retirement and longevity products unless super funds implement clear and personalised membership engagement strategies, according to Cbus.

Robbie Campo, Cbus Super group executive, said maintaining and growing membership engagement was a major challenge on Cbus’ radar as the industry faced significant regulatory changes that could exacerbate its “notoriously disengaged” membership.

“And I think engagement has never been more important as we've noted there are some significant regulatory changes, which are really putting members in the driver's seat,” she said.

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Campo said super funds needed to implement intra-fund advice as it would be difficult to encourage engagement if members could only get super advice through personal advice channels.

To address this concern, Campo said Cbus had been continuously improving methods of engaging with members, aided by technology advancements, market technology tools and a drive to improve the quality of superannuation data.

According to Campo, the flagship element of Cbus’ membership engagement system was its retirement income estimate program.

The program provided personalised estimates of future retirement income as part of Cbus’ annual statement program.

“Because Cbus’ members don’t work in traditional places, they're on building sides, we also provide a personalised video to each member that contains that information,” she said.

“So, it tells them what their future income will be [without focusing on their balance] which is really important in terms of shifting mindsets away from balance and towards super being about future income.

“It gives them an indication of whether they're on track or not, and we've learned that we need to be really careful about the message that they need to be doing more, which can promote disengagement if they're feeling a bit dejected.”

She said Cbus tracked member’s broader super progress and provided personalised analysis to show their positive changes in their portfolios.

“It improves all the kinds of behaviours that we hope to see, it results in increased contributions, improved engagement, seeking of advice and take up of retirement,” Campo said.

“We would love for this to be the main lens through which members engaged with their super.”

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