FASEA could impose specialisation training within two years

The move to require specialist qualifications to give advice on self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) could come from the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) within two years, according to the SMSF Association’s head of education and technical, Peter Hogan.

Hogan told delegates at the Association’s National Conference in Melbourne today that, when asked by the advocacy group, FASEA had said that specialist requirements in the field would be “a couple of years down the track”. He said it wasn’t clear however, whether they meant two years from making the comment or from when the FASEA regime took effect.

The Association had been encouraging the Authority to consider SMSF advice as above that of superannuation generally and therefore needing of specialist training.

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“But they pretty much said that they are flat out with trying to do what they were already trying to do,” Hogan said, hence the two-year reprieve for advisers in the SMSF space.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Productivity Commission (PC) both recommended specialist training requirements for SMSF advisers recently, but the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry didn’t see the need for one.

Regardless, Hogan said that the Association is “hopeful that those comments [from ASIC and the PC] might bring that indicative two-year period forward”.

The SMSF Association already offered a specialist accreditation in SMSFs through the University of Adelaide. Money Management has explored what a FASEA specialist qualification could involve here.

Hogan also used his talk to highlight issues with FASEA’s Code of Ethics, especially provision 12 that obliges advisers to report anyone that they believed wasn’t giving appropriate advice.

“That in my mind is a fairly difficult and onerous obligation … you might be in breach of the Code for not reporting someone who is in breach of the Code,” he said, adding that the Association was in talks with FASEA about adapting this requirement.

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I have done the Kaplan specialist SMSF course and a internal dealership one, now this SMSF association with its own course wants me to do theirs too? How much money do they think we make? All these self interested groups talking us down for their own benefit, its just sickening what happening at the moment. Its every person for themselves mixed with a bit of how do we make more money out of these planners. I am paying fees to so many different people just to open my door, dealership fees, asic levy, pi insurance, tpb fees, professional association fees, software fees, I cant afford any more hangers on on these coat tails, theres no more room.

well said

I have done the Kaplan one and also the SMSF Association exam which is a few hours long (i forget, it was a few years back) and they want me to do another post grad qualification?

i have also done a masters degree in financial planning already

What's the point of having a FASEA sub specialisation for SMSF advice when most SMSF advice is provided by unlicensed accountants and property spruikers who are not even RG146 qualified?

Why bother with this rubbish FASEA crap. You are way better off providing unlicensed SMSF and insurance advice and charging a fee. ASIC can’t touch you and the last guy who got in any trouble for providing SMSF advice without a license was fined $10k.

It’s almost amusing that they think they can pile on all these fees, coupled with extra compliance and education whilst at the same time remove Insurance commissions and fees for advice from super and expect us all to just suck it up and go back to uni to learn nothing.

All the experienced advisers are going to quit the industry and the product providers are going to have to sell their products under general advice with no client protections.

There is going to be another royal commission to fix the mess left due the absence of personal advice in under 10 years.

Definitely correct. But we need to be smart and follow how the union funds get around this with the killer disclaimer of "SPECIALISED GENERAL OR LIMITED PERSONAL ADVICE". Union fund costs for this? What costs, no branches, no annual reviews, all phone discussions, no rip off dealer fees and best of all no compliance hassles as the members just receive 'specialised general or limited personal advice'. No personal advice means just that, nothing is ever mentioned to you, oh and of course you still have to cop the ongoing percentage based and annual fee. Most union fund members are too dumb to even ring - they don't know what to ask anyway. Its hilarious what is going on in this backward country!

Be careful what you wish for SMSF Association - maybe learn from the FASEA debacle so far, before you go too far down this track. I doubt the current SSA designation would meet the AQF 8/9 level, so we have to do another course even though we are specialists.

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