About Australian Catholic Superannuation
Australian Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund was established in 1981 as a profit-to-member fund that assisted members from the Catholic education, healthcare, aged care and welfare sectors with their retirement savings. It is the super fund of choice for the Catholic sector and as a public offer fund, it is open to anyone who is eligible for super. As a values-based fund, Australian Catholic Superannuation’s mission is to empower its members to live their best possible retirement.
Australian Catholic Superannuation is self-administered, which means that the administration of all contributions and benefit payments are handled internally, focusing on delivering member outcomes and excellence in member service. As the fund doesn’t pay dividends to shareholders, all profits go back to members in the form of improved products and services, including a variety of investment options, over-the-phone service, a self-service online portal, workplace visits and seminars at no additional cost.
For over 40 years, Australian Catholic Superannuation has helped people who work in Catholic education, healthcare, aged care and welfare plan for their future by providing excellent superannuation, insurance, retirement planning and financial planning services. They support more than 90,000 members and over 13,000 contributing employers with more than $9.4 billion in funds under management. Guided by the values they share with their members; they provide a superannuation service that focuses on providing excellent retirement planning outcomes. Australian Catholic Superannuation’s mission is to provide members with appropriate superannuation benefits, which make a positive contribution to their retirement strategies and goals. To achieve this, they keep fees low, invest responsibly and offer members access to additional benefits through their partner network.
Australian Catholic Superannuation have three different advice offerings. General advice provides customers information on super, insurance, investments and pensions. This service doesn’t consider personal circumstances. Their over-the-phone personal advice is a single-issue service that provides answers to questions about growing super – including salary sacrifice and managing investments – and reviewing insurance requirements. Lastly, they offer face-to-face personal advice which is a comprehensive advice service that helps create a strategy to assist members in achieving a variety of financial goals. Australian Catholic Superannuation offer plans that are appropriate at every stage of life.
Australian Catholic Superannuation also offer their members three pension products, depending on their needs and retirement goals. RetireSmart aims to provide strong returns through use of a pre-set investment strategy, generates a consistent stream of retirement income. RetireChoice allows members greater control of their investments even as the member is accessing their balance in retirement. Transition to retirement pension is also accessible to members who want to access their retirement savings but aren’t ready to fully retire. This enables members to be able to use some of their super through a transition to retirement pension.
Australian Catholic Superannuation onboarding of new members leverages the power of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, complemented by a human touch point from the call centre. Previously, all onboarding was done via mail with a hefty package sent to every new member that included a range of forms, insurance information and other fund information. The new onboarding leverages a sophisticated marketing journey that uses member data to provide relevant information to a member over a three-month period. Additionally, the customer service centre also assisted with every member receiving a welcome call, reinforcing the high level of personalised service the Fund offers. The onboarding looks to strengthen the Fund’s brand, but more importantly ensure their members have the relevant information they need to take the necessary actions to ensure they have the best retirement outcome possible. Finally, as a Fund that is 75% female, it is vital that we encourage members to put more money in earlier. Women retire with less, due to the gender pay gap and broken work patterns, and ensuring they maximise their super throughout their career is important to ensure financial security later in life. This initiative starts this way of thinking early and looks to create habits that will continue throughout their lives.
There are two separate “journeys” activated in this initiative. One is a brand-new member, and one is for a member who is returning to the Fund. The key goal was to make joining the Fund simpler. However, additionally they wanted to achieve better financial outcomes (increase contributions) and ensure members had simple access to everything they need. As a business, they have access to a variety of member information and leveraging this to deliver better outcomes is vital. Their new onboarding creates a better experience for members and enables better outcomes into the future. Australian Catholic Superannuation’s internal research conducted by their Business Intelligence team highlighted a number of engagement points that are critical within the first 12 months. Previously, they have simply sent out a new member pack and left decisions to members. The complex nature of superannuation can cause confusion leading to inaction, and the company believed members deserve a more detailed and personalised experience. By taking what the company knew of their old process and leveraging access to technology, they were able to design a simpler, more streamlined strategy. Australian Catholic Superannuation were able to carefully plan how they wanted to communicate with members and utilise data to ensure their communications were both personal and useful.
80% of Australian Catholic Superannuation’s membership consists of women who work in the education sector.
Women are paid on average 14 per cent less or $253.60 per week less but are expected to live 4.1 years longer than men. Women are also more likely to take time off from work to care for a child or family member. In fact for those aged 60 to 64 years in 2016-2017, women’s average super balances were 17.4% lower than those of men.
Given the above statistics and the fund’s mostly female demographic, the fund believes that it’s important that its female members are equipped with skills and knowledge to enhance their financial wellbeing. However, the fund lacked financial management information tailored to the needs of its female members.
To fill this gap, the fund created Her Purse, a set of financial guides for women to suit females in different life situations.
The fund coined the phrase ‘Her Purse’ as the brand of the initiative as a purse can be regarded as a symbol of a women’s financial independence. Just as there are various purse designs to suit the needs of different women, the fund created several financial guides to cater to the financial needs of different female personas.
Her Purse was launched at the end of February 2021, shortly before International Women’s Day on 8 March.
While Her Purse was borne out of an initiative to assist Australian Catholic Superannuation’s female members, the financial guides are available for download by non-members. By making these guides readily available, anyone can share the content with the women in their lives. The fund believes that when women experience the benefits of the information in Her Purse, they can inspire other females – students, daughters, nieces, friends and relatives – to care for their financial wellbeing.
To ensure that Her Purse resonates with readers, the fund surveyed a sample of people who’d shown interest in the financial guides.
There were 25% more respondents who said that they were either confident or very confident about managing their finances after reading Her Purse compared to before reading the guides. Below are some of the verbatim feedback received:
- “Informative and well written.”
- “Easy to read and understand.”
- “It is innovative.”
- “Directed at where I am at the moment.”
Given the statistics shared earlier in this document, it is imperative that women feel empowered about their finances. Consequently at the time of writing this report, the fund is in the process of creating a flyer about Her Purse to raise awareness about this initiative amongst its female majority membership. This flyer will act as a conversation starter for the fund’s relationship managers when they meet with school staff members.
In conclusion, the fund sees Her Purse as a vital tool to encourage more female members and non-members to take control of their finances today and into the future.
For information on Australian Catholic Superannuation, visit catholicsuper.com.au
 Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Australia’s gender pay gap statistics 2020 (Accessed 28 January 2021).
 Based on life expectancy in 2017-19 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Gender Indicators, Australia, Reference period: 2020 (Accessed 27 January 2021).
 Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Women’s economic security in retirement insight paper (February 2020) (Accessed 27 January 2021).