Team Spirit profile Danielle
In fact, when she’s not helping Spirit Super members reach their retirement goals, she can be found helping community members reach their health and fitness goals at her local all-girls gym.
‘I’m usually quite shy, but when I get up on stage and put the mike on, I become a totally different person! I get such satisfaction out of helping people push through and achieve more than they thought they were capable of.’
Danielle has worked in super for ten years. She began working on the front desk at Tasplan before moving into member services, providing general advice to members.
In 2015, when Tasplan merged with Quadrant Super, Danielle trained the first intake of staff for the fund’s new in-house contact centre.
‘After training everybody, I moved back to my face-to-face role, which is where I am now, doing intra-fund and general advice.’
When asked about the most common topic members want to talk about, Danielle says it varies from member to member as everyone’s needs are different.
‘How to contribute to your super and the rules around it is a common one. Often people don’t understand how salary sacrifice works. Members also want to know the benefits of transitioning to retirement and how it works.’
She said investment choices and knowing how much super you need to retire are also common questions.
‘A lot of members don’t realise they have the option to change investment options. And of course, as members are nearing retirement, they want to know if they have enough super or if they need to keep working for another few years.’
Danielle feels she hasn’t done her job if she hasn’t managed to answer a member’s question in a way that makes sense to them.
‘Super can be confusing, and everyone learns differently, so that’s where tackling issues in different ways is important. Whether that means putting it into language they understand, doing diagrams, or showing them an online calculator where they can see the difference that making a few changes can make, there’s always a different way to present information.’
The thing that Danielle finds most rewarding about her role is helping members who need it most.
‘I helped a member who was suffering from trauma to work through a claims process. We managed to have their funds unrestricted through a total and permanent disablement claim through their insurance. They were then able to use those funds to have an operation they needed. I also help a lot of members who’ve lost partners and don’t know what the next step is.’
She also loves giving members great news — especially when they’re not expecting it.
‘I met with a member recently who was in a toxic working environment and was very unhappy. She thought she still had to work for another few years, but when I looked up her account, I was able to give her some very good news. She was thrilled to learn that she didn’t have to wait any longer and could retire straight away if she wanted. So, now she’s out of an environment she was struggling with, and she has more time to do the things she loves, like spending time with the grandkids. Those happy stories make me feel really good too.’
Danielle has countless emails from members thanking her for helping them feel confident and at ease when making decisions about their super.
Any advice given in this article is provided by Quadrant First Pty Ltd (ABN 78 102 167 877, AFSL 284443) (Spirit Super Advice), which is wholly owned by Motor Trades Association of Australia Superannuation Fund Pty. Limited (ABN 14 008 650 628, AFSL 238718), the trustee of Spirit Super (ABN 74 559 365 913). A copy of the Financial services guide for Spirit Super Advice is available at spiritsuper.com.au/financial-services-guide or by calling us on 1800 005 166. You should consider the Product disclosure statement and Target market determination available at spiritsuper.com.au/pds or by calling 1800 005 166 before deciding if the fund is appropriate for you.