Super fund backs value of advice

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Big West Australian super fund GESB is backing calls for Australians to receive greater encouragement to obtain financial advice.

The fund has based its position on its own research, which shows that Australians often seek financial advice in the wrong places. According to the research, one in three Australians prefers to take advice from their family, compared to the one in six who are likely to visit a professional financial adviser.

GESB general manager of wealth management Fabian Ross said that at a time when Australians were living longer and facing increased barriers to retirement saving, such as the reduction in concession contribution caps, it was more important than ever that they were encouraged to seek financial advice to plan and save efficiently over the long term.

"A person's level of income or assets should be no barrier to accessing financial advice that could help ensure an adequate income during retirement," he said.

Ross said the industry had a long way to go to educate Australians about the role of professional financial advice in helping to ease the risks to super and retirement saving like longevity, market fluctuations, inflation, liquidity and early death.

He said that while the fee-for-service versus commissions debate was important to consumers, there was an even more pressing need to increase consumer understanding of the value of advice.

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