The annual Workplace Super Specialists Australia conference is the most important event of the year for financial planning companies that specialise in Super education and advice in the workplace. WSSA members work with Australian companies and their employees to bring financial education to the workplace via structured programmes. This provides members with general advice and information to help them improve their financial health.

Last year WSSA’s Inaugural Conference had over 100 industry and financial planners attend. Super-Advice was honoured to have our Key Account Manager, Silvia Pothoven, sit on one of this year’s discussion panels.

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The topic was Financial Wellness Tech Tools – are they the full solution? Below are some of Silvia’s responses to panel questions.

How are we delivering financial education in the workplace now?
Most commonly, through a combination of group seminars, and one-on-one wealth coaching sessions and workshops. We also provide webinars, info clips, and video conferencing facilities for more geographically diverse groups.

Why is it important to deliver financial education – why not just stick with talking super?
Not all employees care about super, so building a relationship early on in accumulation is vital for long term relationships. The need for general financial education is absolutely necessary to retaining and engaging employees. Studies now show that a ‘financially fit’ workforce improves levels of productivity.

What outcomes are we looking for from the employer and the employee?
Improved self-report outcomes of financial literacy and awareness; measurable productivity improvements (e.g. comparison of staff who have been through the program), engagement measures within the super fund (nomination of beneficiaries, consolidation, survey results).

While we see ourselves as financial educators, do you think workplace super advisers are the best placed to deliver financial education to the workplace or perhaps others like the super fund provider, the Government, the education system?
I think it starts from home…. teaching kids about the importance of managing money – that does not magically appear from the box in a wall… it should be a joint effort of all of those mentioned, so that when children reach adulthood they are able to fully understand the financial system, understand how superannuation works and more importantly what options are available to them, so yes, Corporate Super specialists play a major role in financial education in the workplace.

Are such programs eventually going to eliminate the need for the on the ground adviser?
No, I don’t think so. There is still a need for the ‘human touch’. The need for interaction. I think there is definitely a place for all types of advice and the delivery of advice.

If you would like to find out more about WSSA go to: http://www.wssa.asn.au/

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