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.
Want to learn more? Get in touch with Roy or Richard at AXIS on free call 1800 111 299 or email firstname.lastname@example.org..