Accept FOFA as it stands, for now

The key financial planning groups and companies will continue to lobby for further changes to the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) legislation, but are privately conceding that planners should resign themselves to working under the existing arrangements for the foreseeable future.

Money Management understands that strong lobbying of Australian Labor Party (ALP) Senators and members of the House of Representatives is continuing based on the argument that the FOFA laws can be made more workable without the ALP undermining their overall intent.

The further changes being sought would clarify elements of the best interest duty and opt-in, but in the meantime planners are being told to adapt to the current legislative and regulatory reality.

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Financial Planning Association (FPA) chief executive, Mark Rantall said that while the compromise reached by the Government and the Opposition around grandfathering and some other elements of FOFA were welcome, the fact remained that planners had to ensure they were compliant with the law as it now existed.

"For better or worse, they have to be compliant with the law as it now exists and it would be most unwise to gamble on any change given the current make-up of the Senate," he said.

While the arrangement reached between the Government and the Opposition on grandfathering and other elements were seen as a breakthrough, the Opposition is being urged to concede further changes which it is being argued would make FOFA more workable without changing its underlying intent.

Amongst the changes is being sought is clarity around the protection of client portfolios when they delay opting in, and ensuring that the best interests duty does not unduly impact the ability to deliver scaled advice.

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