QSuper culls comprehensive advice

By Kanika Sood | Financial Standard | Friday, 3 July 2020 12.37 pm

The $110 billion industry fund will stop offering comprehensive advice to new customers on July 6 and cut over 50 positions, as it sees demand for holistic advice fall.QSuper chief executive Michael Pennisi said the decision is based on several years of data, member feedback and member needs.In the last three years, less than 1% of the fund’s 585,000 members accessed comprehensive advice via the superannuation fund. It employs 61 advisers.The closure comes into effect on July 6.Instead, QSuper will expand its personal advice offering, where it says it has seen a 35% increase in demand since expanding over-the-phone personal advice. The fund declined to comment on number of members using personal advice.The fund will continue to service existing comprehensive advice clients under the current service.But about 55 people will lose their jobs.”There will be job losses as a result of this decision, so it’s not a decision that we have made lightly,” a spokesperson said.

As a result of ceasing the comprehensive advice service, 23 paraplanning-related roles will be made redundant from the end of August 2020 and 32 other support roles will also be affected by October 2020.

“Right now, our focus is on supporting affected staff and, as a first option, finding a new role for them within the QSuper Group where we can. We will work with each staff member affected to support their wellbeing and their career,” QSuper said.

Pennisi said the decision to cull comprehensive advice was made carefully and was in the best interests of the QSuper membership.

“Overwhelmingly, our members have told us that they need advice about their investment strategy, ways to make the most of their QSuper account, and help with retirement planning,” Pennisi said in a press release this morning.

“As a result of the review, QSuper has significantly expanded the personal, over the phone financial advice service available to members which is provided at no additional cost to the member.”

The fund has added topics on establishing an account-based pension, commencing a Transition to Retirement strategy and advice related to retirement income projections.