Sam Thompson is a Member Education Manager in Queensland.
Sam Thompson has always had a good head for numbers. He studied finance at university which naturally progressed into financial planning. “It was an area where I was able to fine tune my technical knowledge whilst continuing my studies,” says Sam. “I eventually moved into industry super because it’s where the member comes first, with no strings attached. I could help people regardless of their current financial position, with the aim of improving their knowledge, confidence and overall financial wellness.”
Sam Thompson, HESTA Member Education Manager
For Sam, it’s being able to guide members towards changes that can have a big financial impact that really drives him. “I love being able to highlight these to our members, and help them to understand the impact,” says Sam. “Our members are the best - it feels great to help people who help other people.
“I’m really lucky that my job leaves me feeling like a super hero. I even get called ‘Sam the Superman’ at some of the healthcare facilities I visit members at. I have to admit that I encourage this nickname as much as possible,” says Sam.
Making super simple
With his natural numerical ability, as well as his enjoyment of engaging with members, Sam is able to help make super simple. “Confusion or lack of understanding can lead to people putting their heads in the sand, and ignoring their retirement planning. It isn’t difficult to improve almost any situation with small changes, and even complex matters can be explained in fairly simple terms,” says Sam.
“I love empowering people to make a difference and engage with their super fund and overall financial planning.”
When what you do matters
Sam has many great stories about members he’s been able to help over the years, but there’s one that sticks in his memory.
“I met a member in Grafton, NSW who was 57 and looking pretty run down. He was working to keep money coming in the door and counting down the years until he could retire at 65,” says Sam. “I explained how preservation age works and his face lit up. He was actually able to access his super right then and there if he retired, or even under Transition to Retirement (TTR) rules. After clarifying with me – and calling his wife to discuss it – he effectively retired on the spot!”
“He walked out of the room bouncing. What I was able to explain to him seemed to fill him with energy and joy, even though to me it was such a small thing – that’s when you know what you do matters,” says Sam.