While there is a push for super funds to give advice, the number of advisers working at those licensees has halved since 2019.
According to research by Adviser Ratings, there are 596 financial advisers working at an industry or not-for-profit super fund.
This is down from 1,191 in 2019, with the biggest losses being seen between 2019 and 2020 when they lost over 380 advisers. This makes up 3.8 per cent of the licensed financial adviser space.
There are just 15 licensees in this space, making up less than 1 per cent (0.8 per cent) of the financial advice space, and down from 18 in the previous quarter.
Looking specifically at which super funds have the most advisers, Aware Super has 137 advisers.
The fund has recently been running a major consumer advertising campaign focusing on its advice offering for consumers that includes simple, comprehensive, aged care, and estate planning advice.
This was followed by Industry Fund Services (IFS), an advice licensee for super funds and works with 13 super funds including AustralianSuper, CareSuper, and Hostplus. Coming in second behind Aware, IFS has 119 advisers.
In third place was UniSuper with 73 and Link Advice with 51. Part of Link Group, Link Advice partners with corporate and retail super funds to deliver intra-fund advice to over 5.5 million members.
Following this was a tail of super funds with less than 50 advisers including legalsuper with nine, AvSuper with two, HESTA with 40, and TelstraSuper with 35.
In the government’s formal response to the Quality of Advice Review, Minister for Financial Services, Stephen Jones, discussed how he expects superannuation funds could be a source of retirement income advice to their members.
As to how this can be provided, Adviser Ratings founder, Angus Woods, said: “Many super funds are looking at establishing referral models with both IFAs and well-credentialed dealer groups.
“Secondly, there will likely be an expansion of the intra-fund advice model to capture retirement planning expertise which will likely see more recruitment within this space.”
Earlier this week, Australian Retirement Trust executive general manager for advice, guidance and education, Anne Fuchs, discussed the fund’s advice approach with Super Review.
Jones believes super funds should be there for the simple advice needs of most working Australians.
“ART [has] been working really collaboratively with AustralianSuper on advocating that funds like ours should be able to help our members with personal advice, under the confines of intra-fund, or on their household situation as it relates to the super, any Centrelink entitlements and that advice meets the majority of Australian needs,” Jones said.
“It won’t meet all the needs, and that’s why I don’t believe we are in competition with financial advisers, as there will be a role for them to provide that more complex advice.”