- Registered Tax Agents are now able to help Australians with access to super advice without an AFSL
- The ASIC requirements for the provision of this advice have been lessened if certain conditions are met to protect the consumer
- ASIC has granted temporary relief to allow advice providers to give a Record Statement of Advice (RoA) rather than a Statement of Advice (SoA).
CA ANZ has joined forces with CPA Australia, SMSF Association (SMSFA), Financial Planning Association (FPA) and Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) to ensure Australians can get the advice they need to understand the Federal Government’s COVID-19 economic packages, particularly in relation to early access of their superannuation.
Relief for Registered Tax Agents (RTAs) to provide advice about early access to super without an AFSL
In a decision handed down by ASIC on April 14, it will be easier for Australians to get assistance from professional accountants and financial planners in making decisions about their financial position in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This means that not only members who are licensed to provide advice on superannuation will be able to assist clients, members who are RTAs will also be able to do so for a period of time. There are many individuals who see their accountant as their first port of call for all COVID-19 matters, so for RTAs to have temporary relief from financial product advice rules will see more people being able to access help.
“As trusted advisers, accountants are well placed to provide individuals with advice and many already have an existing relationship with their accountant. This is therefore an excellent extension for clients,” said Simon Grant, CA ANZ Group Executive, Advocacy & Professional Standing.
Over 880,000 people have already registered an interest in accessing up to two parcels of $10,000 in superannuation tax-free as part of their second stimulus package.
“As trusted advisers, accountants are well-placed to provide individuals with advice and many already have an existing relationship with their accountant. This is therefore an excellent extension for clients.”
ASIC has granted temporary relief to permit registered tax agents to give advice about early access to superannuation to their existing clients without needing to hold an Australian financial services (AFS) licence where the following conditions are met:
- the client is provided with a Record of Advice (RoA)
- the advice fee is capped at $300
- the advice provider must establish that the client is entitled to early access of their superannuation before providing advice and
- the client has approached the advice provider for the advice.
Relief for all advice providers to give a Record Statement of Advice (RoA) rather than a Statement of Advice (SoA)
ASIC has granted temporary relief to allow advice providers to not give a SoA to clients when giving advice about early access to superannuation and further, an RoA can be given instead of an SoA in certain defined circumstances.
This means that a significant amount of regulatory burden has been removed from the advice process, so those who are in financial difficulties will be better positioned to get sound advice, whether that be to access super now, or in many cases, to be advised why early access to super may not be the best option.