UniSuper sees demand rise for face-to-face financial advice

03 May 2017

UniSuper, the $60 billion superannuation fund for Australia’s higher education and research sector, says despite the rapid growth of ‘robo’ advice, meeting financial advisers face-to-face continues to grow as the preferred approach among its members.

UniSuper offers members a comprehensive financial planning solution, with nearly 50 financial advisers nationally providing complete advice across superannuation, investments, insurance and retirement strategies.

Demand for initial advice appointments with members is up over 20% year-on-year. Review Advice, where an adviser reviews an existing financial advice plan, is up over 70%, with demand spiking as members prepare for the upcoming superannuation changes due to come into effect on 1 July.

Jack McCartney, UniSuper Executive Manager – Advice, said more than 50% of UniSuper’s initial advice appointments across its adviser network are now occurring face-to-face.

"While phone based and digital scaled advice have a place, for members wanting to discuss more complex needs or approaching retirement there is a clear preference to have these discussions in person, with more than half of UniSuper's initial advice appointments now occurring face-to-face," Mr McCartney said.

"We know that around half of all adults in Australia have unmet advice needs with many lacking the knowledge, time or confidence to seek financial advice. Building a relationship face-to-face can quickly help overcome these barriers.

"We've also seen this trend grow among younger members, with the initial face-to-face meeting helping build a deeper relationship as a base to grow and evolve over time as their situation changes."

"An increasing number of Australians who are looking for financial advice are first turning to their super fund and for UniSuper, our core goal is that when members are seeking advice we have a service offering and a channel that is right for them. What we are seeing is that the ‘right’ channel is more often than not face-to-face."

Whilst Mr McCartney said that his team do not set out to win awards, the recent acknowledgement of Best Advice Offering at the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards 2017 is a reflection of their collective hard work over recent years.

"We are tremendously proud to have won this award. Our members understand the importance of an expert opinion, especially when it comes to planning for the future. Receiving industry best-practice advice gives them confidence in knowing they are preparing themselves for a comfortable life now and into the future."