The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority’s (FASEA) draft legislation for education standards fails to “appropriately recognise and account for” the limited licence advice regime, especially for accountants with a licence to provide SMSF advice, according to an industry body.
The SMSF Association in its submission to FASEA said existing accountants effectively have only until the end of this year to consider applying for a limited licence or authorised representative status.
“We believe the education standards that advisers with a limited licence must comply with should adequately represent the advice that they provide on a day-to-day basis,” the association said in its submission.
“It’s likely the standards will discourage most professionals who are intending to add financial advice to their services and, to a lesser extent, advisers who currently provide limited financial services from meeting FASEA’s standards and providing advice.”
SMSF Association chief executive John Maroney said ignoring a legislated section of the financial advice framework contradicts FASEA’s goal of setting educational, training and ethical standards for all financial advisers who provide personal advice on relevant financial products.
The association’s submission proposes a specific limited licence adviser pathway be created that offers a more suitable framework for FASEA-related units advisers must undertake in a specialised area of limited advice.
The framework will also enable the inclusion of the different recognition of prior learning (RPL) that is relevant to limited licence advisers as the standards, as they stand, may require a limited licence adviser to complete more courses than a full licence adviser.
The association also intends to submit an official application for the specialist SMSF adviser (SSA) accreditation to be recognised as professional designation education.
“If accredited by FASEA, we propose that existing advisers will be eligible for RPL where they have completed the SSA, acknowledging that it demonstrates the highest level of SMSF knowledge,” Maroney said.
The submission supports the clearer standardised guidance for RPL as outlined in FASEA’s draft legislation. The submission also asks FASEA for clarity around relevant degrees, particularly relating to aggregating courses over several qualifications and including superannuation, retirement and insurance as relevant degree subjects.