AUSTRALIA - Three of Australia's largest industry funds managing more than AUS$18bn in superannuation assets have joined forces to launch a financial education campaign aimed at helping members make informed decisions when choice of fund is introduced next year.
Retail Employees Superannuation Trust (REST), Superannuation Trust of Australia (STA) and Sunsuper have launched Education Key, which will be offered to the three funds’ combined membership of 2.5m – roughly one in four Australian workers.
“The initiative will harness the existing member education activities of the three funds and will pool resources across the funds to build a sustainable, cost effective model that aims to crack the education dilemma facing all Australian funds,” STA said in a statement.
REST Superannuation CEO Neil Cochrane said the venture would leverage the advancements of each fund to educate members.
“Our initial research reinforces widespread industry concern over the ability of Australians to make informed choices, and highlights the need for an education program that takes the next step – not only in raising engagement levels but also transferring engagement into informed decision-making by members,” he said.
“Many funds have been trying very hard to communicate with members, yet we still face a situation in Australia where the vast majority of people say they are not comfortable making basic decisions about their superannuation investment.
“Given almost one in every ten dollars earned is invested in super, clearly there is a need to try a different approach.”
The funds’ plan to run more than 500 seminars over the next year as part of Education Key. The Australian government is set to introduce Choice of Fund in July, 2005.
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