Labor Govt would abandon uni requirement for advisers with 10 years

If elected, the Labor Government will allow financial advisers working for a decade to continue without a university degree.

Addressing the Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals conference on Wednesday, Labor’s shadow assistance treasurer, Stephen Jones said: “If you’ve been working for a decade as a financial adviser with a good record, a Labor Government will not ask to you take that bachelor’s degree to keep your qualifications.

“We’re going to assume that that 10 years plus experience is worth at least a degree.”

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Jones noted advisers would still need to sit the financial adviser exam and comply with the code of ethics.

“But we won’t be asking you to waste your time on degrees you don’t need. We’re going to treat you like professionals,” he said.

“And we’re going clear the way so you can get on with the job of getting valuable advice to people who need it at a cost they can afford.”

Jones said requiring advisers year decades of experience to complete a bachelor’s degree was a waste of public and private resources.

“It is a waste of public and private resources. It is driving the best and wisest heads out of the industry. It’s adding cost and removing valuable time from businesses that would otherwise be healthy,” he said.

“And it’s treating mid-career professionals like undergraduates. We need a system that recognises the wealth of knowledge held by experienced advisers.”

On a Facebook post today, Jones said that the Liberal party had driven the industry to the brink and that Labor would improve access to financial advice to Australians.

Under current rules, financial advisers would need to complete a Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) approved degree by 2026 to continue working in the sector.




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I'm calling this out as BS.

At this point I don't really think its a good idea to go down this route. It seems entirely reasonable, but something that should have been done at the start.

You have my vote. I am sure their will strings to it but the industry is stuffed anyway and at least i can keep my business in some form and work and earn a living. Can't wait to see the back of Scomo, Fryer Tuck and Hume. I am sure we will get screwed at some point by Labor but i don't care anymore. I just want to be able to work.

The issue for mid 50's + advisors with 20+ years of experience (me) isn't only that I'm required to gain additional accreditation its that the approved accreditation available is completely useless for our discipline. If courses were more appropriate I'm sure our future in the industry would be less fatalistic.

Brilliant.

Im happy I got the study out the way anyways but grandfathering everything will never fix underlying issues.

Grandfathered commissions through FOFA just kicked the can down the road. They genuinely expected advisers to give away the gravy train that was grandfathered commission (aka not needing to service client books they bought) and 'adjust their business models'. Never happened until forced.

SD, are you really a Financial planner? Not looking good.

Commission, or another way of of allowing the Product Provider to control the delivery of in house product advice to membes is alive and well following FOFA. Money is being deducted from members accounts by Product Providers for the potential delivery of advice - does not matter if the advice is not delivered - which to me makes it look very much like a gravy train. Would these members who have never received any advice be better off if this fee was not taken from their accounts?

FOFA and education has not stopped Product Providers charging fees to clients for advice that is not delivered. FOFA, and the Liberal Party have reduced the number of Financial Advisers - and potentially allowing Product Providers to control the delivery of advice to members. Could be wrong.

No argument from me on infra-fund advice fees. Shouldn’t be allowed to exist. But complaining about that is just deflecting from deep rooted issues we previously had of the business model of acquiring books and treating client fees as annuities, irrelevant of service.

Anyone who tells you they aren’t aware of many practices having had thousands of ‘clients’ they would never have the staffing capacity to actually service is lying to you, and themselves.

Things like that being grandfathered under FOFA retained a lot of the industry issues longer than needed. Now here we are.

SD, the issue " of many practices having had thousands of ‘clients’ they would never have the staffing capacity to actually service" if there was has simply been transferred from the hands of privately owned Financial planning practices to Product owned. It's call, look here, I give you a profession whilst I steal the business. Nothing has changed - except the product manufacturers now own it. How on earth you believe education of Financial Planner operating in private practice is going to fix the problem is beyond me - it's the one delivering advice via Intra Fund and associated Fees you need to concentrate on because I suspect they deliver advice to more individuals in a week than a private practice Holistic Adviser does in a year.

Hopefully Labor would also get rid of the whole complex mess of "bridging subjects" as well. It is ridiculous that degree qualified advisers who have studied bridging subject topics to pass the FASEA exam, are forced to waste time and money studying them again in a "prescribed" course.

The FASEA rules are not consistent with the spirit of the original legislation. They were bastardised by conflicted course providers on the FASEA Board. It's not enough for Hume to just shut down FASEA, without rectifying their bad decisions. Labor's proposals are a step in the right direction. I eagerly await further policy detail from Labor, and potentially further action from the LNP, before determining my vote.

I already have a dfp and relevant degree but I agree with this move. Experienced accountants have been grandfathered from this and therefore so should financial plannerss. A shonk is a shonk with or without FASEA and degrees.

Incredibly unfair to those older advisers that regardless of their experience did the hard work, made the sacrifice for the sake of their clients, their peers and industry.... So these, clearly selfish individuals operating at the bare minimum, saying "too hard" having less education than a 19 year old hairdresser, ...can't even go out and complete a handful of subjects for the sake of their peers or Australians ....we don't need those people . What a pathetic joke they are. Let's remember that these are individuals, despite getting the memo in 2008, would rather wash the BMW, earned via the blood money of conflicted remuneration, cheap dealer fees and Nil entry fees, then spend 30 minutes on a weekend typing an Assignment with a word count less than a basic file note.

Well, you're certainly living up to your namesake now Yogi LOL!! Clearly an Angry Ant you are, with multiple '
'chips on the shoulder' from what you display, I'd say. Your rant and choice words don't come close to hitting any sort of mark, but, good for a giggle I suppose, but not much else. See a professional, it will do you better than venting on these pages. Cheers.

How about the LNP agree with this and just get this done now. Why do we have to wait for an election

Too little too late, and the wrong issue to address. Advisers have had and still have plenty of time to do a Grad Dip FP.
It doesn't solve the real issue, which is documentation of advice to the extent that advisers don't want to write them, paraplanners can hardly put them together with the information provided, and 9/10 clients don't read them anyway.

The cost of advice and the limitations in providing advice to meet the demands of clients comes down to onerous documentation that no one involved in the chain actually wants.

To top it off, oversight, audit and enforcement is so low that many adviser's don't even care what they say, as long as they exist. Odds are good that it'll never be audited unless there is a complaint (which is rare when the advice is provided and implementation actioned competently). What's the purpose of this extensive box ticking exercise when quality seems irrelevant and consequences are largely the thing of myth?

Maybe if the federal govt made it easier to provide advice through measures that benefit the whole profession, 'experienced' advisers can join the rest of us over the next 4 years and get 8 subjects done in the time they get back?

What???? A Labor government throwing support behind financial advisers. OMG that just shows how seriously desperate they must be to gain power. And we all know election promises are as good as money in the bank.
Brought to you by the people that brought you FOFA.

Vote grabber!
Nothing more. They did nothing, until now due to an election.

Well, that was unexpected! Due to the requirement to get a uni degree at age 61 (for $10K++ and time++) I retired last week after 36 years and sold my client base. I'd have stayed for at least another 10 years, all else being equal. Look at the damage these clowns are reeking. How does this help me or my clients of 3 decades+ now? Hmm? This circus is all over the place. I've always maintained that the running of the country is FAR, FAR to important to leave in the hands of mere self-absorbed politicians who simply jostle for popularity by giving away other people's money. That's all they can do - they don't PRODUCE anything! What an absolute RORT! Oh well, too late for this brown bear. I'll just get the popcorn and see what the circus has to offer next. Good luck to all those remaining . . .

You gave up 10 years of work and income, in order to save $10K and a small amount of time studying 8 subjects over 4 years that you should find pretty easy as an experienced adviser? Seems like a bit of an over reaction.

No Anon, They were not the only reasons I left the game. One should not be so quick to judge. Also factored in - as a MAJOR factor - was not only the flip-flopping from all forms of toxic governmental influences but the over bearing compliance burden. a missed comma or T not crossed on an SoA and months if not years of time and money can be tied up defending yourself against a system heavily weighted towards the consumer complainant. I have seen this multiple times first hand. I'm a pure risk adviser so not only are the degrees irrelevant to me and a TOTAL waste of time away from family, friends and clients (and a waste of money) I( have the constant threat of commissions going 'POOF' tomorrow. Even though the UK situation proved (expensively) that commissions are the ONLY way to give risk advice I don't trust pollies here not to try and reinvent the wheels even though the evidence is clear it can';t be done.

So, THAT'S why I have given up. I'm 61 so my tax free super is looking good. My client base was sold for 3x renewals and I have a family that would like to see much more of me. This ticks all the boxes given the situation. Our industry became a toxic mix of self absorbed pollies moving the goal posts whenever they wanted a sound-bite. It became a stressful nightmare of irrelevant FARCE-IA exams , totally inappropriate to a risk adviser's discipline of modus operandi. It degernerated into something far less in quality of life for an adviser that I don't recognise compared to the industry I entered in 1985 where we looked after clients from a common sense viewpoint, did fact finders to the best of our ability, were always there for the client for queries and claims and spent only 30 mins admin for each 2 hours with a client. Now it can take 8hrs - all nonsensical BS to appease compliance pinheads. We saw - and helped - many more clients than we can with today's onerous and pointless paperwork burdens. Burdens we carry to ONLY appease compliance academic pinheads who've never had a real job facing/helping a client. For these reasons - I'm out.

Any idea of Economics 101, Opportunity Cost and thus besides the actual course costs, there is the 120hrs (FARSEA time study required) per course of opportunity time costed wasted $$$ that could have been used working at $330 / hr. So each Grad Dip course costs $39,600 in lost income, times 6 courses is almost $240k or 8 courses $320k.
Maybe you should do some basic Economics courses.

You're not required to a get a Uni Degree...it was only a Graduate Diploma.. 8 units and 1 was compulsory ethics for everyone that could have been completed in studying for the exam, and if you had a DFP FASEA granted a further exemption so you only add to study 6 Units.... The time commitment and dollars required to study 6 units would have been minimal...probably 1 unit is equivalent to the effort required to wash your car for any experienced Adviser. If that was your reasoning for leaving then we're better off without you and frankly I wouldn't want to use education myself...so I suspect it was just your time and so I wish you well.

Yogi, I hear you and acknowledge what you say. I'm disappointed you choose to get personal and say you're better off without me. I doubt my 180 loyal complaint-free clients from 36 years looking after them would agree. Seems an odd statement for you to make, not knowing me at all. Please see my comment I made in reply to 'Anon' just now before you judge me or anyone else again. Not everyone who does something different to YOU is a cowboy. Good luck to you, given you've chosen to stay in this high-risk circus controlled by self-absorbed politicians who as we all truly know have thrown 'client best interest' to the wind. I do hope it goes well for you for you . . .

If this happens I can see many advisers going the govt for refunds of unnecessary degree course fee refunds and time lost in client consulting for useless mandated study. What a mess. So much for the liberals being the friends of small business. What sort of world is it when labor is our best friend? Strange times indeed!

Labor is not to be trusted going on past experience and they are the perpetrators of bloody FASEA.

Amazing what they'll do for votes. On the one hand he says that insurance commissions are conflicted and his parties' starting position is to reduce them to nil. On the other hand he says that all the older Advisers, many of whom started out as life insurance salesmen, can now forget about increasing the formal education and just continue as normal. I'm sure this will win a few votes but I wouldn't be surprised if it loses them even more. I'd guess a large percentage of the advisers left on the FAR are committed to study and staying in the industry long-term, they've probably spent money on study already and are now being told that's been an unnecessary waste. What about the one's that have already sold their business and retired early. I'd say the backlash against this would be greater than the number of votes gained.

I certainly wouldn't vote for this. It might sound selfish but I've done a Grad Dip, I've done the Ethics bridging course and the exam. I want the industry to become a profession, this will prevent it unfortunately.

Give experienced advisers some more credit for experience but they can't be fully grandfathered.

Thank goodness. As an Adviser for 16 years with an Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning I find these new education standards an utter knee-jerk reaction. Some of my colleagues have started studying and are saying it's complete tripe. A waste of their time. I completed the FASEA exam and it was a farce. I passed but NO ONE i sat the exam with had any idea i they passed or not and when you get told PASS or FAIL you don't even get told what you got wrong. Would that not be important if they really cared? I'm a Liberal man but this may sway me to vote for Labor as they appear to be making a common sense approach. The number of highly experienced Financial Advisers who are planning to leave the industry over the next 4 years is scary. By the beginning of 2026 the industry will be full of Advisers in their 20s and 30s with no idea about the GFC or how to relate to older clients in their 60s and 70s. A wealth of experience will be lost and that can only be bad for the industry. Well done Labor!

Well, I know that if we asked Hillary Clinton what she thought of all this, in her best Benghazi style she'd probably respond, "well, at this point, what does it really matter". From the mouths of fools and babes, as they say . . .

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