Advisers should get SMSF-specific training

The AMP SMSF division has come out in support of making it compulsory for financial advisers to undertake specific training if they are going to advise on self-managed super funds (SMSFs).

Speaking at an AMP Roundtable on SMSFs yesterday, head of policy, technical and education services Peter Burgess said while the quality of advice on SMSFs has improved over the last 10 years, it requires specific training for a complex area.

"If you are giving SMSF advice, it's very different to when you're giving advice to someone about being a member of an APRA-regulated fund," he said.

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"I use the example of related party transactions, which always seems to come in the SMSF world, which means you've got to have an understanding of in-house assets and all those really complex issues so it makes sense to us that you do have that specific training."

The call for specific SMSF advice training comes on the back of the Financial System Inquiry, which called for training and education after stakeholders raised concerns some clients were being directed to set up an SMSF even when it was not cost-effective and suitable for them.

Burgess added that a lot of dealer groups are imposing their own rules around advisers having to complete training, and while the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has already set standards, "they effectively haven't been switched on".

AMP SMSF managing director Natasha Fenech also backed the move, saying "it actually does lift the calibre and quality of advice at the end of the day".

The comments come as research in the UBS/FSC State of the Industry report showed more than two in five respondents with an SMSF said they go to a financial adviser for advice, while only 29 per cent go to an accountant.

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