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Is your super, super charged?

How people perceive Super is a constant consideration of ours – as Superannuation specialists who technically examine Super as a fully funded remuneration benefit from corporate profits. Public perception of the best Employer Super is based on both media scrutiny of the assets and the Government’s interrogation of the financial services industry via the recent Financial Services Royal Commission. 

Commentary at the time and financial legislation since the Royal Commission closely examined just a small proportion of the whole industry and focused mostly on the Master Trust model. In particular, it focused on insurance and the structure of advisers’ commissions. In retrospect, given the amount of remediation paid and financial legislation passed, you would expect your Super now to be ‘super-charged’ – but is it?

From a technical viewpoint, it would appear that all of the activity that has taken place since the Royal Commission  has yielded very little in terms of improved Employers Super Services. 

Where could it be going wrong then?

  • Let's talk about the right super fit for your employees.

At the Employer level

As an organisation, AXIS interacts with many employers on a daily basis. We frequently discuss Super with senior HR teams and financial executives from a broad range of different businesses. Initially, many of our prospective clients are at first satisfied with their existing Employer Super providers. Following our first meeting, they frequently realise that their existing Super provider is responsive to servicing the organisations’ needs but provides only the minimum level of service to the employees on an individual level. 

Recently, a senior manager at one of our kick-off meetings stated that their current provider had offered to wash their car for them as an incentive. Another senior executive added that the same provider had even offered to buy them a car if they wanted one. However, when asked if the rest of the workforce received the same level of service from this Employer Super provider, the answer was a definite no! 

The above Employer Super Provider has clearly got the wrong priorities. It’s an attitude that can commonly pervade our workplace, where providers operate almost entirely for the employer’s benefit at the expense of the employee. If an employer is going to manage the value in Super effectively as a remuneration benefit (which is what it is), the focus needs to be squarely on incentives for the employee, not free car washes or cars for the employer.  

When did you last review the KPIs of your Employer Super fund? Super is indeed a remuneration benefit of great importance. However, most employers appear to skip reviewing the performance of their super provider, assessing whether it delivers true value in managing an accumulated asset of substantial value. 

 

The platform approach

All platforms manage key contact relationships very well as part of their retention strategy. The bigger your organisation is, the more responsive they become. When challenged by AXIS, as Super specialists, a common complaint from the platforms is that the employer or the employees not engaged.

However, AXIS questions this claim because we strongly believe if a platform is required to do a job, the onus is on that service provider to deliver, not on the customer ‘to engage’.

We recently observed that a platform behaviour involved two different products with different investment returns for the same fund manager, typically varying between  1 – 2% over a long period. When we queried this in front of our client, one of their major clients, the product representatives did not attempt an explanation. However, when we again examined the reported investment returns the following day, the differences no longer existed.

How can you tell if you’re receiving a poor service? When we asked for a definition of their perfectly serviced account, six different platforms we approached could not provide a definition. In any service industry, this is a major telltale sign of poor service.

In terms of their Employer Super offering, platforms change slowly, and any improvement to their offering is even slower. Unless the client is asking the right questions, platforms are unlikely to fulfil the promise stated in their value proposition. 

Platforms are to be complimented for the product they have designed and maintained over three decades, but their position on delivering value at an individual account level is truly weak.

Everyone sells their product or service, but would you, as a buyer, believe without question that a financial service is worthwhile without checking the benefits on an individual account level?

Investigating the market

When choosing services in the Employer Super market, employers need to inspect the market offering to ensure all employees’ Super is being optimised over the longer term.

The government has enabled employers to have more control and insight into the Super market through tools and initiatives like MySuper, the APRA Heatmap and account stapling. We, ‌therefore, infer that in the financial service industry, the Employer Super offering has had little improvement.

AXIS challenges the status quo on how value is delivered to every one of your employees at an individual account level; from your senior managers to your new junior employees. We have developed the capability to explain the issues, manage the delivery of personal scaled advice at an individual account level, and offer a level of servicing, which should be the standard structure around managing employee Super as an employer-funded employee entitlement.

 

Contact AXIS

Want to learn more? Get in touch with Roy or Richard at AXIS on free call 1800 111 299 or email consuting@axisfg.com.au..


This document was prepared and issued by AXIS Financial Group (ABN 21 092 889 579, AFSL 233680). The information contained within it is not advice. It provides general information only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should assess whether the information is appropriate for you and consider talking with your financial adviser before making an investment decision. Information in this publication, which is taken from sources other than AXIS Financial Group, is believed to be accurate. However, subject to any contrary provision in any applicable law, neither AXIS Financial Group, nor its employees and directors, provide any warranty of accuracy or reliability in relation to such information or accepts any liability to any person who relies on it.

Testimonials

Mitsui & Co. (Australia) Ltd engaged AXIS Financial Group in reviewing the existing employer super arrangements and clarifying which product provider might be best for Mitsui & Co. (Australia) Ltd and it’s group of companies.

AXIS Financial Group provided a concise explanation as to who might be best and why, in particular ensuring that the internal project team had the information to feel confident as decisions were made. The project team moved from arguably being daunted by the prospect of improving this particular employer funded employee entitlement and better understood how to manage super as a remuneration benefit through the detailed analysis and explanation provided by AXIS Financial Group

Antony Auliso
General Manager - Human Resources Division
Mitsui & Co. (Australia) Ltd

I want to thank AXIS Financial Group for their efforts in handling insurance claims on behalf of the employees of WesTrac. From the moment AXIS Financial Group were appointed to the task, they moved so seamlessly into position and have made sure that WesTrac is not only better serviced as a result but also more informed about claims progress. I also note the outstanding results achieved by AXIS with respect to marketing and placement of our employer super policy.

It seems nothing is a problem for the AXIS team and I would commend all employers to consider this service.

Gary Carter
Group Insurance Manager
WesTrac Pty Ltd

AXIS Financial Group’s knowledge of employer super is second to none.

DXC tasked AXIS Financial Group with consolidating multiple superannuation funds to a
single company-wide default fund. They delivered, displaying superior knowledge of their
industry, along with the highest level of service and diligence.
From start to finish – the initial analysis of our previous funds, the detailed tender process,
the transition to our new fund, and post-transition – AXIS Financial Group always made
themselves available for support.
We strongly recommend speaking to AXIS Financial Group for all matters relating to
employer super.

Michael McGoldrick
Director, Compensation Asia Pacific
DXC Technology