ASFA Emerging Leaders

The Great Engagement Debate

Does member engagement really matter? Superannuation funds put a lot of time, energy and resources into engaging their members. However, does this actually lead to better member outcomes?

Last Wednesday, McGing was proud to partner with ASFA Emerging Leaders and sponsor a friendly Oxford-style debate and networking drinks. Emerging Leaders is ASFA’s group for professionals in the superannuation industry under 40.

“Does member engagement really matter?” was the motion in the debate. Our very own Neekhil Shah took part in the engaging evening, with the full teams outlined below.

Affirmative:

Negative:

Adjudicator:

The attendees were asked to vote on the motion both before and after the debate. With some spirited input from both sides, the outcome pointed to success for the team supporting that the concept member engagement does in fact matter.

However, not all was lost from the affirmative side of the debate – the combined expertise and insights of Neekhil and Stephen managed to persuade some to consider that in fact member engagement was not the most important factor for a super fund. As a result of their efforts they received  the biggest swing in voters – pointing to the fact that the topic of member engagement is not black and white.

The affirmative team raised some interesting points around the long term nature of superannuation. From their perspective, sometimes an engaged, risk averse member may be more inclined to switch funds to chase returns. This does not necessarily lead to better outcomes.

Georgie and Nicole led  the negative side of the debate focussing on the need for tailored engagement and member segmentation. They pitched to the audience, without the right type of engagement, funds allow members to fail in reaching retirement. Super funds need to reassure members and send them on the right path.

All in all, it was a very successful and engaging evening (no pun intended). The topic of the debate is actually a hot topic in the industry and was purposely made to be a little bit controversial to create a thought provoking event. Congratulations to everyone who took part and the ASFA Emerging Leaders Committee members for a fantastic night.

Here at McGing, our mission is to deliver quality outcomes for our clients and this is why our sponsorship of ASFA Emerging Leaders aligns with these values. We believe building the leaders of tomorrow is critical for the innovation and success of the super industry, as well as the retirement outcomes of all Australians. 

Bob is an Actuarial Analyst at McGing Advisory & Actuarial and a committee member of the Young Actuaries Program (Melbourne). His experience spans across Superannuation, Life Insurance, Investments and Data Analytics.