SMSF Association Media Release
The Federal Government’s response to the Quality of Advice Review is a positive step towards ensuring Australians have greater access to high quality, accessible and affordable financial advice, says SMSF Association CEO Peter Burgess.
“In his announcement today, the Minister for Financial Services, Stephen Jones, has clearly shown he has listened to the advice sector and taken on board their concerns, especially as it relates to the red tape that has made the delivery of advice more cumbersome and costly.
“In particular, replacing Statements of Advice (SOAs) with a record of advice that is more fit-for-purpose and streamlining the ongoing fee renewal and consent requirements into a single form will simplify the disclosure requirements and help to ensure consumers are presented with clear and concise information without unnecessary complexity.
“As we said in our submission to the Review, SOAs have become grossly distorted and are not a consumer-centric document.
“Their content has extended well beyond the original intent and SOAs have become significantly bloated over time. They have simply become risk mitigation documents that significantly add to the cost of advice.
“Simplifying the record of advice requirements will also result in a significant reduction in the time required to prepare advice, freeing up more time for advisers to provide more relevant advice to more clients.”
Burgess says the removal of the legalistic safe harbour steps is also a positive move. “As noted in our submission, the safe harbour steps encourage a ‘tick-a-box’ approach to the provision of financial advice and do little to ensure consumers receive the advice they want or need.
“As the Minister rightly said, at the very time that Australians have more savings, advice on how to make those savings work for them in retirement has never been harder to get, and we think these reforms will help address this pressing issue.”