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Client retention the key for SMSF practitioners

Recent research performed on the superannuation industry indicates client retention will be the most important factor for advisers operating in the SMSF sector, according to a sector expert.

This opinion expressed by AMP head of policy and technical Peter Burgess at last week’s Association of Financial Advisers 2013 National Conference was based on the Deloitte “Dynamics of the Australian Superannuation System” report, which predicted post-retirement assets managed by SMSFs would reach $800 million by 2032 and go on to exceed that figure the following year.

The study also forecast the SMSF sector to take over from retail super funds as the dominant space for post-retirement assets to be managed as early as 2017.

“One thing that really comes out from these statistics is client retention. If you’re not providing self-managed super advice to clients who are in post-retirement or in retirement, the chances are you’ll start to lose some of those clients because if you’re not speaking to them about self-managed super funds, someone else is,” Burgess said.

“That’s what the research is telling us and the discussion they want to have is around self-managed super funds.

“I’m not suggesting you should be pushing all of your clients who are getting close to retirement into self-managed super funds, but the point is you’re going to have to have enough information and knowledge about self-managed super funds to have an informed discussion with your clients.”

He pointed out having clients recognise the adviser as an SMSF expert could have flow-on benefits.

“Also, based on some of the work we’ve done at AMP, if you’re considered to be an expert in self-managed super funds, you’ll be considered to be an expert in all aspects of superannuation and in fact all aspects of financial planning affairs. That’s an important lesson we’ve learnt from our marketing campaign this year,” he said.

He concluded in order to retain and attract SMSF clients, advisers needed to carefully consider what phase of the decision-making process individuals were in regarding their retirement savings and tailor the advice provided accordingly.

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