Deliver on FOFA changes, say planners

Australia's major financial planning organisations are looking to the newly-elected Coalition Government to deliver on its promised changes to the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) legislation, particularly the removal of opt-in and the simplification of arrangements around fee disclosure statements.

Both the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) welcomed the election of the Coalition Government — pointing out how well they had worked with the Liberal and National parties while they had been in Opposition.

While the Prime Minister-elect, Tony Abbott is not expected to name his first Cabinet for a number of days, there is an expectation that the Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Senator Mathias Cormann will retain his portfolio responsibilities in the new Government, with the possibility of Tasmanian Liberal Senator, David Bushby becoming a Parliamentary Secretary.

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In the event that Bushby becomes a Parliamentary Secretary he would have to stand aside from chairing the Senate inquiry into the activities of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) flowing out of an enforceable undertaking imposed on Commonwealth Financial Planning.

Commenting on the outcome of the election, FPA chief executive Mark Rantall said the FPA was looking forward to working with the new Government, particularly around the FOFA issues.

He said the FPA was particularly looking forward to "helping them with changes to both regulations and legislation for the removal of opt-in provisions, simplification of fee disclosure statements, more flexibility on allowing for commissions on insurance inside superannuation and clarity on best interest duty to allow for scaled advice".

"We have worked well with Senator Mathias Cormann and we now eagerly await the announcement of our relevant Minister. We acknowledge that it will take some time to settle into office and face into the reforms that need to be instigated," Rantall said.

AFA chief executive Brad Fox said his organisation would proactively engage with the new minister for Financial Services and seek to contribute to the new Government's financial services and superannuation agenda.

"We will be particularly interested in the Government's approach to improving the effect of the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA), Stronger Super and Default Super reforms," he said.

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