News

Extend the PLS government reverse mortgages to all retirees

Australia Institute - retirement, reverse mortgage, Pension Loan Scheme (PLS)The Australia Institute has recommended the expansion of a government run reverse mortgage scheme to all retirees.

Pension Loan Scheme (PLS)

The Pension Loan Scheme (PLS) is a reverse mortgage offered by the government to people of age pension age. It allows those who meet the eligibility tests to borrow an amount equal to the full age pension, fortnightly. This loan is secured against their home.

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ASIC investigates effect of FOFA reforms on financial planners

ASIC effect FOFA on financial plannersASIC has conducted research to find what effect the FOFA reforms have had on financial planners.

“We found that for most licensees in the sample, the type of advice they provided, and their adviser numbers, had not changed as a result of FOFA,” said ASIC.

“In general, licensees reported that they understood what was required under the FOFA reforms, and most of the unpreparedness that reportedly existed before 1 July 2013 seemed to have been addressed. ”

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What is the purpose of super contributions data pass through?

ASFA Superannuation contributions pass through data - SuperStreamASFA, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, has asked what is achieved by proposed regulations which will require super funds to pass through contributions data submitted by employers.

“The release of the draft regulations is the first public indication that the government is giving serious consideration to regulating such a requirement,” said ASFA.

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Only 29% approve of slower increase in super guarantee

An Essential Research poll has found that only 29% of those asked approve of slower increases in the superannuation guarantee rate.

Q. As part of the agreement to dump the mining tax, increases to compulsory superannuation have been deferred. Instead of increasing to 12% by 2019 they will remain at 9.5% until 2020. Do you approve or disapprove of this change to superannuation?

In response to this question 49% disapproved, 29% approved and 23% didn’t know.

Poll - Approve Disapprove change to slow superannuation guarantee rate

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Change ‘general advice’ to ‘general information’, says FPA

FPA, FoFA - Corporations Amendment (Streamlining of Future of Financial Advice) Bill 2014, General AdviceThe FPA has told the Senate committee considering the latest FoFA changes bill that the term ‘general advice’ should be changed.

The Senate Standing Committee on Economics is currently considering the Corporations Amendment (Streamlining of Future of Financial Advice) Bill 2014, which makes a number of changes to the FoFA reforms.

In the submission the FPA acknowledged that there have been “unintended consequences” to general advice from FoFA.

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New SoA disclosures don’t fix FoFA bill: Governance Institute

FoFA bill - additional Statement of Advice (SoA) disclosuresThe Governance Institute of Australia has told a Senate committee that the additional disclosures to be included in Statements of Advice (SoA) don’t fix the other parts of the bill which weaken consumer protections.

This was included in the submission by the Institutes to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics, which is currently considering the Corporations Amendment (Streamlining of Future of Financial Advice) Bill 2014.

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New FoFA bill “waters down” consumer protections, says ISA

FoFA bill - Industry Super Australia - consumer protections, Statement of Advice (SoA) disclosures, best interest duty, opt-inIndustry Super Australia (ISA) says that the Corporations Amendment (Streamlining of Future of Financial Advice) Bill 2014 “significantly waters down the consumer protection measures in the original FoFA legislation” and “substantially dilutes the best interests duty”.

This is contained in a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics which is currently considering the bill.

“ISA has been a long standing critic of the dominant business model of the financial advice industry, whereby financial advisers are able to be used as a distribution channel for product providers, in return for commissions, sales incentives and other forms of conflicted remuneration.”

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Protect terms ‘financial planner’ & ‘financial adviser’, says FPA

Protect terms 'financial planner' & 'financial adviser'The FPA has told the Parliamentary Joint Inquiry into proposals to lift the professional, ethical and education standards of the financial services industry that the terms ‘financial planner’ and ‘financial adviser’ should be protected.

“It is the FPA’s strong belief that to strengthen consumer protection and to reinforce compliance to professional standards, the law must restrict the use of the titles financial planner and financial adviser to only those that are a member of a Regulator / government body recognised professional body,” said the submission.

“There is a high level of confusion in the market, within industry, media, Government and consumers, about the definitions and roles of financial planners, financial advisers, those that just sell financial products and those operating unlicensed,” said the FPA.

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Financial advisers education “extremely inadequate”: CHOICE

Financial advisers, Financial Planners education“Current education and qualification requirements for financial advisers are extremely inadequate,” said Choice in a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee Inquiry into proposals to lift the professional, ethical and education standards in the financial services industry.

Choice recommends the “immediate establishment of a national exam”, with higher levels of education to be phased-in.

However, “these efforts, while important, will not resolve the systemic issues with financial advice. Increasing qualification standards without addressing structural conflicts will only lead to better educated financial advisers taking advantage of consumers,” said Choice.

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