Show download pdf controls
  • Overview - APRA Fund Communications Reference Group


    This short term group acted as a ‘sounding board’ for the ATO and super industry to:

    • identify, consider and co-design strategies to address irritants and improve the communication, engagement and collaboration between the superannuation industry and the ATO
    • validate current communication, engagement and collaboration strategies to confirm their value and assess whether they should become, or continue to be, part of our “day to day” way of operating
    • Prioritise identified changes and opportunities into:      
      • grass roots - “quick win” low touch improvements
      • tactical - medium term low touch improvements (may require small change technology change)
      • transformation - strategic/aspirational improvements (may require investment from ATO and industry).

    This group was sponsored by the Superannuation Administration Stakeholder Group (SASG) and was a joint initiative between Superannuation, Marketing and Communications, and Service Delivery areas. A whole of ATO approach was taken to this group by bringing the appropriate ATO experts/areas to each meeting.


    These principles were agreed by the group to guide the assessment of identified communication, engagement and collaboration strategies:

    • tailor information and deliver it to the right people
    • information is in one place
    • consolidate, streamline and keep information up-to-date
    • speak the audience's language
    • be transparent, clear, consistent and timely
    • know the audience
    • structure content so it's easy to navigate
    • make things visual.

    High level topic areas the group meetings focused on were:

    • design principles
    • broadcast channels
    • engagement channels
    • static channels
    • collaboration and co-design.

    Initiatives already delivered

    • News articles progressively published throughout each month.
    • New monthly newsletter (Super News) introduced which combined two previous newsletters to deliver a summary of all news articles published during that month.
    • Regular news article about the common queries received from industry, including links to more information.
    • ‘What’s new’ section of the website is now displayed more prominently.
    • Search function improved for the most used pages so that more relevant content is returned through Google and ATO searches.
    • Summary of ATO digital channels and how to use them has been added to APRA funds - think this is a more relevant link -
    • (In pilot) Including non-SuperStream systems updates/alerts to the Announcement section of ATO Superannuation Dashboard for other services such as DASP online.
    • Supported removing dates from videos that caused confusion about the currency of content.
    • Improved visibility and transparency of all inbound email contact points by listing them (by topic) on Contact us.
    • Timeline developed on Let’s TalkExternal Link to provide clear status of our revised protocol guidance material and expected publishing timeframes.
    • Draft 'Managing Change with Funds Guide' (incorporating the large fund ecosystem) is now the baseline model for engaging with the APRA fund community.
    • ATO definitions page has been updated with superannuation terms and acronyms.
    • Enhancements to the ATO Superannuation Dashboard.
    • Guiding principles for ATO staff to handle and route email inquiries.
    • Overarching guiding principles to apply to co-design (to be added to the Managing Change with Funds Guide).

    Initiatives underway

    • .
    • Primary email contact points (CRT, Super Consultation, DPO and Super Advice) to acknowledge email receipt with an indicative timeframe for resolution. This best practice will be rolled out to specialist mailbox contact points where possible.

    Initiatives that will take longer

    Learnings - the group told us that:

    • CRT alerts are a valuable resource – they contain the correct level of detail, delivered in appropriate timeframes. This is how funds prefer to receive time sensitive, critical information.
    • The CRT mailbox was the most commonly used inbound email channel, followed by Super Consultation, SuperStream (for project-specific questions) and Super Advice.
    • Getting prompt answers is important – particularly in relation to project/design questions. Timely key messages and minutes from consultation are also important.
    • Receiving advance copies of correspondence issuing to members is valuable. Fund contact centres use them to assist in prepare for any resultant member enquiries.
    • Our web content is generally of a high quality, but is sometimes difficult to locate.
    • Infographics are useful because they can be circulated to members to explain common super issues, for example, Lost members.
    • On the whole, co-design and consultation is working well. It’s good for funds to be involved in design and work collaboratively with the ATO through the design process.
    • Draft 'Managing Change with Funds Guide' demonstrates a mind shift in the ATO, and evidences how the ATO is continuing to work as a single design team with industry.
    • The model for future consultation (being trialled for the 2018 Budget measures) is a good format and mix of groups.
    • Providing 'white-labelled' information is valuable.
    • There is value in sharing copies of the question and answer scripts used in our contact centres where appropriate – can be used in fund contact centres to help ensure consistent messaging.
    • Frequently asked questions/questions and answers are incredibly important and valuable. Funds would like us to share with all of industry the questions we respond to, where appropriate.
    • Consistent use of terminology is important, as well as consistency of experience.
      Last modified: 30 Apr 2019QC 56217