Brought to you by:

Senate panel backs advice reform, but opposition demands change 

The Senate Economics Legislation Committee has completed its inquiry into the federal government’s draft advice law changes and recommended that the bill be passed.

The changes include requiring brokers to obtain commission consent from retail clients if personal advice has been provided or is likely to be given for a general insurance product.

But Coalition senators on the committee have threatened not to support the Treasury Laws Amendment (Delivering Better Financial Outcomes and Other Measures) Bill 2024 [Provisions] unless a demand is met.

They want section 99FA in schedule 1 of the bill removed, saying it runs counter to the aim of increasing access to financial advice.

Section 99FA relates to criteria for paying financial product advice fees from a member’s superannuation account.

Several inquiry witnesses focused on the proposal for the bill to repeal and replace the provision in the Superannuation Industry (Supervision Act). 

The stated intention is to provide clarity regarding the legal basis for charging these fees, and to provide super fund trustees with certainty about paying advice fees from members’ accounts.

The new subsection 99FA(1) would introduce requirements that must be satisfied before a trustee or trustees pay the cost of advice from a member’s interest in a fund, and these include new consent requirements.

“If the Albanese government is serious about providing cheaper and more accessible financial advice to Australians … then it should take its proposed Section 99FA back to the drawing board,” Coalition senators on the committee said. “By removing section 99FA in division 1 of schedule 1 from the bill, speedy passage of the rest of the bill through the Senate and the House can be facilitated.”

Click here for more from the report.

From Insurance News magazine: How Ardonagh’s “milestone” bid for PSC reshapes the Australian broking landscape