SUPERANNUATION funds are resorting to throwing parties, giving away overseas trips and helping their members meet celebrities to attract young customers.
Australia's biggest super fund, AustralianSuper, recently sponsored reality television show The Voice, and offered some of its members tickets to the finale and a "meet and greet" with celebrity judges, including singers Delta Goodrem and Keith Urban. It also paid for a trip to Kenya for the winner of its Kickstart competition.
The fund said none of members' fund profits were used to advertise the show on its website. "We believe that partnering with The Voice to offer the Kickstart competition helps connect with young people and gets them more interested in their financial futures," it said.
CARE Super also threw a party for its young members in June at Melbourne's Campari House, complete with canapes, alcohol, gift bags and even a free iPad as a door prize.
Former Olympic swimmer Giaan Rooney, the fund's ambassador, was on hand to talk about benefits of super.
Head of super at research consultancy CoreData, Kristen Turnbull, said such giveaways were aimed at drawing attention to super brands as more people moved away from joining their workplace's default fund and became selective about their super.
"These short-term incentives are really just trying to get people interested in super, which is, let's be honest, not a very sexy topic," she said.
"It's about trying to make people more aware of their super, educate them a little bit, give them some short-term incentives to pay attention and then hope that will result in increasing engagement in the longer term."
Funds were increasingly competing for their share of Generation X and Y members as the ageing population made long-term growth a new battleground for the super industry.
"As the baby boomer generation moves into retirement, they're going to start drawing down on their superannuation nest eggs and funds are recognising it's really important to have a balance in getting that growth at the younger end," Ms Turnbull said.
She said funds were tapping into the fact that most people particularly younger workers tended to join a new fund when they changed jobs, without closing their old account.
InTrust 360's "Superboring" competition offered prizes to those who joined the fund, reactivated or boosted their super, or combined their existing super funds into an InTrust 360 account. People entered the competition by posting animated pictures of themselves on the fund's website. Winners were given a trip to the United States.
Ms Turnbull said competition for younger members would heat up in the next few years as the industry shrunk.