ASIC's MySuper dashboard 'too confusing'

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Consumer testing of ASIC’s new MySuper product dashboard has revealed mixed reviews, with confusion over financial jargon and criticism of the dashboard’s ‘dated’ look.

While the overall impact of the preliminary design was positive – as risk and return were relatively easy to decipher – consumers found it difficult to understand the dashboard’s content.

“I don’t have a clue what they represent in money terms,” one consumer wrote. Another said: “…can't tell in real terms what they mean so I wouldn't be able to choose either based on what is in the graph. A percentage means nothing to me but the total amount in my fund does.”

From 31 December, trustees are required to publish and update a product dashboard for their new MySuper products, which are replacing over time existing default funds. The product dashboards will let consumers compare their super with other funds and products.

Based on the report prepared for ASIC by online researcher Latitude Insights – which did three in-depth interviews and moderated online discussion between 54 Australians – ASIC decided it needs to simplify language and present more personalised information instead of ‘representative’ figures.
 
Its revised dashboard will provide definitions for less-informed consumers for phrases such as ‘return target’ and ‘CPI’, as the amount of financial jargon was criticised. Other consumers thought the dashboard looked “dated” and needs more colour.
 
Latitude Insights said risk is a tricky concept for consumers to grasp and may confuse and mislead people. “A simple statement such as ‘Level of investment risk: High risk; fund balance is expected to go down x out of every x years’ is easiest to digest,” the report said.
 
On the basis of consumer feedback, ASIC decided to ensure the dashboard uses a consistent scale in graphs across funds and products and make the dashboard available in a number of places in order to do comparisons, such as super fund and government websites.

ASIC has published a number of the report’s recommendations in Information Sheet 170: MySuper product dashboard requirements for superannuation trustees.

It has also released Consultation Paper 219: Keeping superannuation websites up to date, which sets out how remuneration disclosure must be kept updated to comply with regulations. ASIC is calling for submissions, due 3 February, on this topic.  

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