Helen Johnson, PhD, Data Scientist, Asset & Liability Management
Because nothing says Happy Valentine’s Day quite like a heart-shaped Venn diagram, here’s one we prepared earlier for you! A Venn diagram illustrates the relationship between groups that share something in common. In this case it represents a stylised depiction of you, our members, by the types of accounts you hold.
QSuper members by account type
At QSuper we pride ourselves on putting members at the heart of everything we do. And a critical piece of information when setting our investment strategies is to understand you. This means using the information we have to work out where you may need to get to in order to enjoy an adequate retirement.
By retirement adequacy we mean playing our part to ensure you have access to an income in retirement which can meet your living costs. From an investment perspective this means using risk efficiently, that is, not taking on too much or too little risk in meeting the return objectives each of our investment options target.
We appreciate that everyone is different and will naturally fall into a different part of the diagram as we know that many members have superannuation money in more than one type of account – this is where the ovals overlap in the diagram. With that in mind, we believe it makes sense to use what we know about you, our members, to make better investment decisions on your behalf.
Given the long standing nature of QSuper (the Fund is currently in its 103rd year of operation) different members will have different combinations of account types.
For example, if you’ve recently joined QSuper you’ll have an Accumulation Account. If you hold an Accumulation account, from our perspective we consider you to be different to a Defined Benefit account member, or an Income Account member, who have and will have different experiences along their super journey.
Even just this one really simple piece of information provides a basis to help us decide how to set your investment strategy. Over the last few years our Investment team at QSuper has spent a lot of time looking at what we know about you and designing investment strategies based on some simple facts.
For example, from December 2013, our default investment option for Accumulation account members changed from a ‘one-size-fits all’ (the Balanced) option to QSuper Lifetime.
QSuper Lifetime distinguishes between members on the basis of age and account balance - two obvious data points – even though in working out which group members should belong to, we also consider other factors, including the rate you contribute at and your salary.
This is the first step that allows us to begin personalising outcomes based on what we know about you so that we can respond to members’ changing needs throughout their life. In summary, knowing more about our members enables us to position you at the heart of everything we do.
The views of the author and those who provide the responses to comments posted on this blog are not necessarily the views of the QSuper Board. We’ve put this information together as general information only. You should get professional advice before relying on this information.
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Each of our investment options has a different objective, risk profile, and asset allocation.
Data Scientist, Asset & Liability Management
Helen is responsible for analysing member data, transactions and behaviours in both accumulation and decumulation to feed into the process of setting investment strategies for the default members of QSuper.