Lisa Moran is a Member Engagement Team Leader in SA and NT.
A career in finance felt like it was Lisa’s destiny from a very young age. “My mum was the youngest of seven brothers and sisters in England. Listening to her stories about how they struggled made me realise that an education and some money behind you helped you in life,” says Lisa. On the flipside, the value of saving and what that can achieve was also instilled in her by her stepfather, who worked in finance and law.
After studying accounting and economics at school, Lisa went on to study a Bachelor of International Finance at university, before beginning her first job in superannuation. Lisa has now spent 22 years working in the financial planning industry.
A number of years ago, Lisa was lucky enough to hear Rosie Batty speak about how hard it is for many women to leave a domestic violence situation. Often it’s because they’re experiencing financial abuse as well.
“I then got to meet a member who spoke about her troubles escaping a relationship. The only way she was able to leave was when she got a pay raise. Her boss was nice enough to pay the extra to her parents, so that over time she then had some money to leave and find a place of her own.
“This and many other little events in my life have led to my passion and love of finance and super. I feel like it’s my duty to educate members on how they can achieve a comfortable retirement with their super,” says Lisa.
Lisa is passionate about providing education to members using simple language. “It’s important to educate our members as super can be their second biggest asset apart from their home.”
Because super can feel so overwhelming, many people feel stressed around how it works and more importantly, whether they’ll have enough to retire when they want to.
“Many of our members can’t afford to have life insurance outside of super – which can end up being so important in tough times. I can’t tell you how many times members I’ve met with that have been surprised, then comforted, by the fact they have insurance as part of their HESTA super.”
Lisa also helps members understand the importance of nominating beneficiaries to ensure their super passes to who they want it to.
“I love being able to help members achieve the financial future that they deserve,” says Lisa. “Super is a very complex topic and can be daunting to members. So many people think you need a million dollars in super before you can retire – which is a complete myth! This is why being able to meet with someone from our Member Engagement team can make such a huge difference to how you feel about your super.
“I like to let people know that making some extra contributions into super, even $20 a week, will make a big difference to their retirement income. Smaller amounts added to your super early can make a big difference to your balance at retirement and you might even be eligible for a tax offset when making these contributions.”
One of Lisa’s favourite stories of being able to help through education is when she met a member working at an aged care home. The member had worked in aged care for 50 years, was 68 years old and working part time.
“She was travelling an hour and a half each way to work and her health was deteriorating. She was struggling with the stairs and the lifting.” When Lisa asked her why she was still working, she responded that she couldn’t retire until she had $250,000 in super.
Lisa was able to let her know that she was actually already eligible for the Age Pension—the member thought she couldn’t apply as she was still working.
They talked about the Centrelink asset and income test and discovered the member would receive a partial age pension. “We also worked out that if she retired, she would receive more income from the Age Pension and her HESTA Income stream than what she was currently receiving from working!”
The member ran straight into the Director of Nursing to reduce her hours to one day a week. “We then put a recommendation together for her in relation to her retiring and also gave her the contact details of Centrelink to go and apply for the Age Pension. She was so grateful for our advice.”