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Profit-to-member superannuation funds are well-placed to expand their role in providing quality, cost-effective financial advice, delegates attending a Financial Advice in Superannuation Symposium heard today.
Speaking at the joint Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) and Industry Fund Services (IFS) symposium in Melbourne, IFS CEO Cath Bowtell noted it was a tumultuous time for financial advisers post-Royal Commission and that many retail advice providers were having to reevaluate why they provided advice.
Ms Bowtell said that while vertical integration of financial products remained lawful, the separation of product and advice was starting to underpin advice discussions that retail funds were having.
“Financial advice provided through profit-to-member superannuation funds has always been first and foremost a service, not a distribution channel,” Ms Bowtell said.
“As the market changes, and this becomes the norm in financial advice, the rules that hamstring the provision of low-cost simple advice could be relaxed.”
Ms Bowtell said the non-conflicted governance model of profit-to-member funds meant they were in a strong position to provide quality, low-cost advice to members.
“Profit-to-member superannuation trustees put members’ interests first and this extends to the financial advice their funds provide.”
AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck said the Royal Commission had proved yet again that there were problems with conflicted financial advisors but demand for quality financial advice was increasing.
“We know that the number of people who need advice is growing and there is a demand from members for advice on a host of financial matters” Ms Scheerlinck said.
This included advice on account consolidation, advice to spouses and advice on Centerlink entitlements.
“The time is ripe for the legal framework around advice – and how advice is described – to change,” Ms Scheerlinck said.
Media contact: Janet de Silva 0448 000 499 or Tyrell Mills 0431 303 998
AIST is the peak body for the $1.4 trillion profit-to-member superannuation sector which includes industry, corporate and public-sector funds.
02 April 2019