Newspaper icon
The latest issue of Financial Standard now available as an e-newspaper

Members' attitude, behaviour key to better engagement

New research suggests superannuation funds need to focus more on attitudinal and behavioural insights if they're to improve engagement.

The latest CSBA FEAL Superannuation Experience & Engagement Benchmark expanded its coverage to survey super fund members' attitudes and behaviours around retirement.

In doing so, it found no indication that members aged over 55 were more actively engaged with their super. It also found that just 17% of this cohort reported a 'hopeful' retirement sentiment. Only 24% of those aged over 55 recorded a 'secure' sentiment, while 35% of those already retired did.

Members aged under 55 were more negative about retirement (57%) than their older counterparts (36%). In fact, 'uncertain' was the most common feeling selected by those under 55 (26%) compared to 22% of all members.

In terms of retirement confidence, the weakest cohorts were those in the middle age and pre-retirement groups, with 35 to 44-year-olds at 5.9 out of 10 and 45 to 54-year-olds at 5.8 out of 10; it was 6.3 for all members.

The study also found significant differences between females (6.2) and males (6.6) and members with default (6.1) and custom investment mix (6.9).

Women were also three times more likely (7%) to feel 'overwhelmed' when it comes to retirement than men (2%).

CSBA CX director or finance Sam Monteath said the findings demonstrate the need for super funds to do more to harness attitudinal and behavioural insights if they're to make inroads into targeted member engagement.

"Trustees must develop attitudinal and behavioural understanding at a granular level, to truly support members for the best possible retirement," she said.

"Demographic analysis is not enough. Funds must continue to innovate, to effectively engage with at-risk segments. And it starts with sound insights."

Further, members indicated that the top three areas where they want to see improvement from their super fund are better proactive communication; pre-retirement plans; and personalised information and advice.

They also said clear guidance and advice, retirement planning seminars and effective projection and modelling tools would be the most helpful services to prepare for retirement.

"These new insights reveal how much more opportunity exists to better engage with members and support them earlier on the retirement journey," Monteath said.

Read more: CSBAFEALSam Monteath