Stephen Huppert – Find out why he is so passionate about super

Long suffering St Kilda supporter, Twitter aficionado and obsessive music fan, Stephen Huppert heads up engagement for Optimum Pensions. Find out why he’s so passionate about super.

Stephen Huppert: Head of Engagement

With over three decades experience in financial services, Stephen Huppert has embedded himself deeply into Australia’s superannuation industry for the last 15 years. A passionate super industry supporter who believes superannuation is a great place to be because ‘it lives at the cross-roads of financial services, public policy and consumer needs’. It’s why Stephen has joined the team at Optimum Pensions – to provide a solution to longevity risk.

Here he shares a few insights on being prepared for a great retirement:

Is it ever too late to start planning for your retirement?

It’s never too late to start but for the best outcome, the earlier you start the better off you will be. We are seeing a big change in the nature of retirement. As people live longer we may very well find it more appealing to transition from full time work to retirement more gradually. It’s also not just about money – things like having a meaningful life will become more important for us all.

What are the biggest risks we face as we enter retirement?

Many people don’t understand the broad range of risks that exist and the level of expertise to manage these risks.

I like to compare it to the Tour de France – the accumulation phase is the same for everyone, save or pedal like mad to climb the mountain. However, once we reach retirement – the top of that mountain – the descent can become tricky. Drawing down your assets and managing them carefully to balance your future retirement against your current standard of living is different for everyone. Riders on this journey need to manage individual issues and avoid accidents – its why guidance is crucial from expert support crews.

What changes would you like to see made to Australia’s superannuation industry?

I think the main thing I would love to see is for the industry to come to terms with the fact that getting money into superannuation is only half the story. Helping Australians approach and then move into retirement requires a very different approach, and a different suite of products and services.

Another change I would love to see is from the members themselves. There are some fundamental questions you should ask about your superannuation – do I have multiple accounts I can consolidate? Is my fund offering good value? Can I make additional contributions?

Will technology help us with our superannuation goals?

Without a doubt – if it’s done right. Superannuation funds can use technology to change the way they interact with their members from both a transactional and educational perspective. It can also be used to provide more personalisation of products and services. The ultimate aim is to have members make the right decisions at the right time.

Stephen Huppert is the Head of Engagement at Optimum Pensions.

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