ASIC, Financial Planning

ASIC extends early access advice provisions

early access advice

Measures to ease the provision of advice related to early release of superannuation have been extended by six months due to ongoing COVID-19 uncertainty.

ASIC will extend temporary relief measures for financial advice related to early access to superannuation due to COVID-19 by six months with plans to bring them to an end 12 months after they first began.

The corporate regulator announced the extension via a media release, stating it was doing so “due to the continuing uncertain impacts of COVID-19″ and “in light of the extension of the [early release] scheme by the government”.

The initial measures were announced on 14 April and were originally scheduled to end on 15 October and allow financial advisers to provide advice on early access to superannuation without having to produce a statement of advice (SOA).

The measures also permit registered tax agents to give advice to existing clients about early access to superannuation without needing to hold an Australian financial services licence.

Conditions that applied from 14 April, such as an advice client being provided with a record of advice, any advice fees being capped at $300 and the client must have approached the advice provider for the advice, will remain in place under the extension.

A separate extension, to 31 December, would also apply to a temporary no-action position for super trustees that allows them to expand the scope of personal advice that could be provided by, or on behalf of, the superannuation trustee as ‘intra-fund advice’.

ASIC noted the ending of this measure aligns with the extension of the COVID-19 early release of superannuation scheme.

The regulator stated it would continue to monitor the appropriateness of these temporary relief measures in light of the impact of COVID-19 on the demand for financial advice and would provide notice if any early repeal or extension was implemented.

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