News

Senate disallows Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) regulations

disallowance Future of Financial Advice regulations (FOFA)Almost 5 months after they were registered the Senate has disallowed the Government’s Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) regulations, and is unlikely to pass the FoFA bill.

The FoFA bill had been scheduled for a vote this week, however it was postponed, seemingly after the Government was informed on Tuesday night that the crossbenchers intended to vote down the FoFA regulations.

Just after 7:30 pm on Wednesday the Corporations Amendment (Streamlining Future of Financial Advice) Regulation 2014 were disallowed by a vote of 32 to 30.

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China FTA to open market for superannuation industry: SPAA

Australia China FTA, superannuation industry, SPAAThe financial services sector is a “clear winner” of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Australia and China according to the SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia (SPAA).

SPAA said the FTA “has the potential to open up this massive market to Australia’s superannuation and financial services industries.”

“The FTA provides the architecture for this enormous export opportunity for these industries. When you couple the FTA with our strengthening cultural ties with China through tourism, education and immigration, then there is a real opportunity for Australia to be a leader in this space,” said SPAA CEO Andrea Slattery.

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ASFA calls for reform of superannuation system

ASFA reform super systemThe Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has called for fundamental changes to the superannuation system to put it on track to meet ASFAs 2050 goals:

  • Cost of age pension and super tax expenditure to be less than 6% of GDP
  • Less than 20% of retirees relying only on the age pension
  • Retirees to have a replacement income of over 65%
  • At least 50% of retirees to have a ‘comfortable’ retirement

This is contained in the policy framework release by ASFA, called The future of Australia’s super: a new framework for a better system.

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Superannuation will not free people from the pension: Costello

Peter Costello - superannuationPeter Costello has told the 2014 ASFA National Conference that most people will have to rely on both superannuation and the age pension in retirement.

“Let us bear in mind that for most people, occupational superannuation will not free them from the pension,” Costello said.

These were his personal comments, rather than in his position as Chairman of the Board of Guardians of the Future Fund.

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ASIC takes court action against SMSF property promoter

ASIC court action, SMSF property promoter, Park Trent Properties Group Pty LtdASIC has taken action in the Supreme Court of New South Wales to stop a company from allegedly providing unlicensed financial advice regarding SMSFs buying investment property.

ASIC alleges the company, Park Trent Properties Group Pty Ltd, is promoting the use of SMSFs to purchase investment property without holding an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) or being the authorise representative of an AFSL holder.

“ASIC understands that Park Trent has advised at least 500 members of the public to establish and switch funds into an SMSF which are then used to purchase investment properties that are owned or promoted by Park Trent companies,” said an ASIC statement on the matter.

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ASFA opposes employer super contributions pass-through

ASFA contributions data pass-throughThe Association of superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has reiterated its opposition to a measure requiring super funds to pass-through employer contributions data to other superannuation funds.

In August the Treasury conducted a consultation process into regulations allowing employers to submit all superannuation contributions data to a single super fund and have that super fund ‘pass-through’ the data to the relevant funds.

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Superannuation battle lines drawn ahead of FSI final report

Financial System Inquiry (FSI), Industry Super Australia, Financial Services CouncilThe battle lines have been drawn between Industry Super Australia and the Financial Services Council ahead of release of the Financial System Inquiry (FSI) final report.

Industry Super Australia CEO David Whiteley says the superannuation sector is at a “crossroads.”

“The banks are lobbying hard to scrap the safety net and replace it with a system designed to suit their vertically-integrated business model, which is geared towards profits and dividends to shareholders.”

Read More »Superannuation battle lines drawn ahead of FSI final report

Australians paying down debt ahead of saving for retirement

REST - paying down debt, saving for retirementResearch by REST Industry Super has shown that Australians are prioritising paying down debt and saving for the short-term over retirement.

REST commissioned the research to investigate the financial choices of Australians in the 35 to 49 age bracket. Despite enjoying steady income, and nearing retirement, only 15% of this group “were prioritising long-term savings.”

“While it is great to see that Australians are trying to take control of their immediate finances, such as getting their mortgage under control, this shouldn’t be to the detriment of planning for the future, which is unfortunately what we found,” said REST CEO Damian Hill.

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