Top three priorities for super industry leaders

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Improved relationships between funds and fund members are the key to moving the super industry forward, new research reveals.

A survey of fund chief executives carried out by Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) and PwC shows the top three priorities for super industry leaders for the next three years are better engagement between funds and fund members, operational efficiency and post-retirement products.

ASFA chief executive Pauline Vamos says after a year of navigating new regulatory and compliance requirements, fund CEOs are focussing on improving member engagement.

"This will drive continued innovation in member communications as well as in educational and self-help tools. As more and more fund members move into the retirement phase, there will also be increased attention on opening up more options for retirement income streams and providing appropriate advice and financial education for those approaching this stage of life."

The survey found funds want to build on member satisfaction by striving to keep investment management fees down and improve investment governance.

Respondents scored themselves highly on the monitoring of investment managers, strategic asset allocation and negotiating investment management fees. They now want to focus more on are active share ownership, sustainability and after-tax reporting, Vamos said.

"The other interesting finding was that around 75% of respondents do not intend to insource their investment management over the next three years. The main reasons cited for this were cost, scale and risk appetite.

“This finding will be surprising to many people as it goes against the trend we have seen in recent years. It shows funds understand that insourcing funds management involves a very different risk profile and needs careful consideration."

CEOs are confident they are able to comply with the Stronger Super regulation, PwC Superannuation Industry leader David Coogan said.

"Costs are expected to continue to increase slightly in the next three years as the costs of technology, member engagement and increased regulatory compliance outweigh any savings that may have been realised from the introduction of MySuper and SuperStream.”

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