SPAA backs ASIC plan to strengthen advice standards

Stephen TaylorNovember 26, 20130 min read

The Australian Security and Investments Commission’s goal to improve the standard of advice being given to prospective self-managed super fund trustees, has been welcomed by the SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia (SPAA).

This includes ensuring SMSF advisers have competencies and skills to better inform potential trustees about the suitability of SMSFs to their circumstances, said CEO Andrea Slattery, while outlining her stance on advisor training and education in SPAA’s submission to ASIC.

The SPAA represents professionals providing a range of services in the SMSF field. It is an advocate for the highest professional standards and competence to ensure SMSF trustees receive the best possible advice.

“In line with this, SPAA has consistently argued that the proposed updated training of advisors should include a specialist SMSF topic if advisers wish to provide advice on SMSFs. This is the reason SPAA has built an SMSF profession,’’ Slattery said.

“We are surprised that ASIC had not suggested an additional, specific topic, in light of recent statements and research by them showing concern for advice practices.

“Similarly, it is surprising ASIC has not sought specific SMSF competencies in the updated RG 146 (regulations) when it has concerns regarding the quality of disclosures made to potential SMSF trustees about the risks of being a trustee.

“We believe that including an SMSF topic in RG 146, and recognising it as a specialist area of superannuation advice, will increase professionalism and understanding among financial advisers who advise on establishing and operating SMSFs leading to increased consumer protection.”

Slattery says that improving SMSF competencies towards potential SMSF trustees would be a significant factor in improving SMSF disclosures. “In particular, SPAA’s SMSF professional accreditation program allows consumers to seek specialist SMSF advice to meet their needs,” she said.

staylor@propertyobserver.com.au

Stephen Taylor

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