Aware Super expands investment options

By Penny Pryor

Aware Super has added two new high growth investment options for members and plans to announce a number more across different risk profiles in the next few weeks.

In addition to its existing High Growth actively managed investment option, Aware Super now offers a High Growth Socially Conscious option (also actively managed), and a High Growth Indexed option.

"We've been really surprised at the uptake of members choosing that [socially conscious] option without us pushing it. So, we haven't really gone out marketing that option [but] our members have flocked into that option," Aware Super's group executive, member growth, Steve Travis, told Industry Moves.

"It shows that the research we did to design that option has been proven true with the appetite."

In total, Aware Super says more than 5,000 members have moved approximately $340 million of their super into the two new High Growth options.

Aware Super currently has nine diversified investment options and five single asset class options and the new high-growth options, along with additional upcoming options, are part of the fund's digital transformation project. An extensive amount of quantitative and qualitative research was also conducted prior to the launch of the new investment options.

"What was really interesting to us [about that research] was that when members are looking to make a choice they didn't want to be overwhelmed by choice. So, it would have been easy for us to just throw 50 different options on the product suites ... but they told us that would overwhelm them," Travis says.

Members essentially said they wanted "meaningful choice" which is what Aware has tried to do with the new options.

Aware Super's MySuper Lifecycle offering remains the fund's core investment offering and provides members a high growth option up until age 56. With the new options, members can choose to leave all or part of their superannuation in the high growth, once they age out of that investment allocation in the lifecycle options.

"I suspect where it would happen for the members in that age group doing that is where they're getting advice ... but they'll probably also use other options to overall bring the risk down," Travis said.

He also said he was pleased with the changes from the Quality of Advice review that will allow superannuation funds to offer more guidance to members around retirement and appropriate investment