Idle technology leaves super fund members behind

As superannuation funds grapple with digital advancement, their young membership base become further disconnected from the wealth and super system, according to a Zuper co-founder.

Chief product officer and co-founder Jon Holloway told yesterday's Calastone Connect Forum in Sydney that after moving to Australia from the UK, many super funds here still lack of understanding about "who they are, who they serve and why they are there."

Speaking on a panel discussing digitisation and innovation, Holloway said the administration side of superannuation is somewhat fragmented in Australia because it's based on "out-of-date" technology, data and transfers and so forth.

Zuper is its own administrator, he said, adding that in reality this is "not a hard thing to do."

Zuper, he said, is built entirely around data that sits on a platform that's part machine learning and part AI.

The firm leverages data to "fully understand" every member and forms as a foundation to help the three leaders make decisions.

Several superannuation funds have approached Zuper expressing interest in buying its technology over the last two years - even before it was launched, he said.

He added it took three months to build the platform, but took 18 months to cut through the red tape and pass through the legal barriers.

Holloway said a "perform storm" has contributed to disengaging young Australians from their wealth and superannuation system.

Zuper's aim is to solve the disconnect from a "humanistic" point of view by looking at how younger people are financially educated, work and live - in the context of providing the right technology to meet their needs, he said.

A recent DST whitepaper shows many super funds aren't taking the "rapid march of technology seriously" and prefer to stick their heads in the sand like emus.

"That can only end in misery - greater risk, fewer members, higher costs, reduced competitiveness and lost opportunities are all that's waiting for these funds," it said.

Read more: ZuperSuperannuationJon Holloway
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