Digital remains pivotal to super funds’ advice offering

13 December 2023
| By Jasmine Siljic |
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Digitised financial advice solutions will continue enabling the mass-scale provision of advice from superannuation funds and allow new entrants to join the market.

Jacqui Henderson, GBST head of advice solutions for business development, attended Minister for Financial Services Stephen Jones’ unveiling of the final Quality of Advice Review reforms last week.

At the parliamentary address, Jones said: “Digital advice technology will be an enabler to providing financial advice at scale.”

Super funds have now been granted expanded powers relating to the advice they can provide, such as offering guidance on members’ investment decisions and retirement income journey.

The government intends to develop a black- and whitelist on certainty regarding specific advice topics that funds can provide advice on.

“This legislative framework will remain technology-neutral, with no specific policies for digital advice,” the GBST head remarked.

With less than 16,000 advisers and 5 million retiring Australians, digital solutions will play a pivotal role for super funds providing advice, Jones said.

“Technology is a critical component in granting Australians individualised and affordable financial advice at scale – super funds are Australia’s main distribution channel to achieve this,” Henderson explained.

“Consumer advocates also trend towards favouring digital solutions that can offer a clear record of the advice they are seeking, in contrast to dealing solely with a human, which was seen to be less trusted by consumer advocates.”

The head of advice solutions encouraged funds to foster robust digital engagement and advice strategies to support better member experiences.

Moreover, the new advice framework will see the opening of new channels and entrants in digitised advice services as well as retirement products for Australians.

“The role digital advice plays in a member’s retirement is vital in the sense of better guidance, education and topical advice, however, in parallel, digital advice can support well-thought-out income products for members approaching and maintaining their retirement,” Henderson continued.

An example of this is AMP’s intention to launch a digital advice service for both its advisers and its super divisions next year.

The firm has been speaking with a range of digital advice providers, including Midwinter, GBST, Otivo and Advice Intelligence, and expects to decide on one soon.

Meanwhile, Aware Super released a tool called My Retirement Planner, which is expected to be launched widely in 2024 and provides insights into retirement confidence.

It is available to all Aware Super members via their online portal, and members who have only recently joined Aware will be able to access their investment history in their previous fund. 

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