Prime Super’s Jess Saxena talks about the challenges of COVID-19

The Brief magazine sat down with Prime Super’s Melbourne-based Regional Manager, Jess Saxena, to discuss her personal life, her career and the superannuation challenges facing RCSA members during the COVID-19 crisis. Watch Jess' video here.

Q: Tell us about Jess Saxena away from work.

A: Ever since I arrived in Australia (to study MBA in info Systems, almost 20 years ago), I have been fascinated by the great Australian outdoors. Any time I can get away from work, you will find me exploring this beautiful country. Campervan trips, long walks, family beach days and bike rides are favourites. We, Saxenas are early risers and try to make the most of the day. Sometimes I wish I had more time to read but given that we are all working from home now, that should be easy to fix.

Q: You have a strong history in financial planning and business development. Tell us about your professional career to date. How did you get into the superannuation game?

A: Although I completed my formal study in business and Information (SAP) systems, I’ve always had a keen interest in all things finance. While studying, I took up a role in the retail network of one of the Big Four banks. Since then, I have worked across various client facing roles within the financial services sector.

I strongly believe that financial wellbeing is as important as mental and physical wellbeing. And all three areas need constant work.

I’m passionate about empowering and educating people so they can work towards being financially fit. This includes superannuation. I help people of all ages in making well informed decisions about their superannuation every day, so that they can afford a better retirement.

At Prime Super, we pride ourselves in making things simple and straightforward for our members.

Q: Coronavirus has thrown the economy a massive curveball. As a Regional Manager of Prime Super, what is your key role in dealing with the situation?

A: This is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime event. Three weeks ago, this current pace of change would be unimaginable for most economies/businesses/individuals. There’s been a lot of disruption to BAU but where there is disruption, there is opportunity.

While the recent spotlight on superannuation has caused some of our competitors to adopt an arm’s length approach with their member base, at Prime Super we have been actively trying to contact our members to see if they need our help in these trying circumstances and will continue to do so.

This also applies to the RCSA membership. Prime Super is committed to supporting the recruitment industry, especially during these tough times. My role is to be your one point of contact for all things super. So, you can go back to what you do best – connecting people with work.

So, if your business, your consultants or your candidates have a question regarding their super, please feel free to give me a buzz on 0499 700226. Regardless if they/your business are Prime members or not.

Q: What is the most common question from members and what is the main piece of advice you have been offering them?

A: What I have noticed in my conversations with various recruitment businesses, whether they be big or small, is that they can’t remember the last time they reviewed their default superannuation arrangements.

And the most common answer I get, when I ask “why?”, is that the default super was appointed when the business started and never been reviewed since.

It could be five years, it could be 10 years … or more. How much can change in that time? How has the business evolved. How different does it look today, than when it started five, 10, 20 years ago?

Similarly, the superannuation landscape has evolved significantly in that time as well.

People think that reviewing super is this big lengthy time-consuming process but I’d like to assure you that it’s not. Most businesses that have gone through it would tell you it is easier than they thought it would be and “I’m not sure why we didn’t do it sooner?”.

If this sounds familiar, let’s grab a coffee – a virtual one for now – and let’s talk super!

Q: What do you love about your job?

A: Every day is different and I get front row seats to learn more about the recruitment industry. I am still amazed at the sheer number of people your industry connects with meaningful work each year and what you contribute to the economy. Right from exec recruitment through to the mine worker, the health workers, the farm hands, the list just goes on.

It can’t be an easy job, I wonder, when (as Greg Savage says) even your product has a mind of its own and can make decisions.

I love the fact that I get to help so many people in the industry build a financially fit future and a work towards a dignified retirement.

Most days I don’t even feel like it’s work. I must enjoy it.

Q: Why do you enjoy working with RCSA and our member base?

A: This one’s easy. I love the energy and it helps that you guys know how to party!

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