The rise of the post-retirement specialist, increasing tech-savvy membership bases, and greater demand for online, real-time advice are major trends reshaping the Australian superannuation industry, according to software provider Bravura Solutions.
In its latest Superannuation Megatrends report, the provider found that after a period of significant reform, the super industry is facing a new wave of demographic, consumer and technology changes that are transforming superannuation funds.
While the evolving landscape brings with it considerable challenges, Bravura flags the opportunity for super funds to seize the moment to grow market share.
"As we enter the dawn of a new era in Australian superannuation, there has never been a more important time for super funds to embrace modern technology platforms," the report said.
"Demand for more personalised product and service offerings combined with ongoing regulatory reform is prompting funds to act. In the golden age of the consumer, big data and new technologies are creating a new reality and opening up significant opportunities for super funds."
Up first, Bravura urges funds to look at the whole life of superannuation rather than just the later stages of accumulation as membership bases become more diverse and broadly distributed.
"Millennials, Gen X, and the baby boomers all form part of the superannuation equation in near equal numbers," the report said.
"Given their age differences, it's not surprising that these members have diverse and evolving needs.
"In the age of the consumer, members will increasingly expect a more holistic treatment of their super and retirement income products as they progress through their lifecycle."
To better engage all members, Bravura suggests technology will play a pivotal role, and that best practice will support multiple, seamless third party interactions in real-time.
"In the years ahead, super funds wishing to remain competitive must enhance their digital advice offerings by looking for new ways to cost-effectively provide advice and information to their members - from the very simplest online advice right through to the more complex, holistic financial and retirement planning," the report said.
"With the robo-advice market predicted to grow significantly over the next few years, funds not investing in this area ignore it at their peril."
The top 10 major trends:
- 'Whole of life' superannuation - looking at the bigger picture
- Spotlight on post-retirement - transforming Australia's underdeveloped post-retirement space
- Health and aged care - a new realm for superannuation
- Hyper personalisation - the pursuit of true member centricity
- Big data and analytics - the next chapter in the digital revolution
- Digital advice - the way forward for robo solutions
- Regulation and compliance - the case for systems agility and flexibility
- Automation and integration - essential tools for sophisticated digital offerings
- Insourcing and outsourcing - a story of mix and match
- Technological distractions - focusing on the main game