Financial advisers who believe superannuation funds are breaking the rules around intra-fund advice should notify the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), according to the Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, Senator Jane Hume.
In a letter responding to a West Australian adviser’s concerns about intra-fund advice, Hume said superannuation fund trustees were expected to have internal policies in place to “manage the costs of intra-fund advice and ensure it is not used excessively by any particular member to the detriment of others”.
“Where you have concerns that a fund may not be disclosing fee arrangements or providing intra-fund advice in accordance with the law, I would encourage you to contact ASIC,” Hume’s letter said.
The minister’s letter also suggested that the Hayne Royal Commission had given intra-fund advice a clean bill of health.
“The advice and superannuation industry was thoroughly examined as part of the Financial Services Royal Commission and in his final report, the commissioner noted that ‘there is no suggestion of misconduct in relation to intra-fund advice’,” Hume’s letter said.
“There are rules in place to ensure to ensure that intra-fund advice is not ongoing advice, and cannot be complex or about topics other than the member’s interest in the fund,” it said. “In addition, there are obligations on advisers providing intra-fund advice including the best interest duty.”
“I note that the implementation of the Royal Commission recommendations such as the new professional discipline regime for advisers will apply to those offering intra-fund advice,” Hume’s letter said.