The head of a financial planning organisation has urged both political parties to ensure ongoing certainty of the superannuation system irrespective of which way the federal election result falls on 21 May.
In an open letter addressed to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Labor leader Anthony Albanese, Lifespan Financial Planning chief executive Eugene Ardino pointed out the need for this position as superannuation is, for most Australians, the largest investment they will make apart from the family home.
“The superannuation system must continue to serve its purpose in ensuring that Australians have security and financial independence in retirement. Superannuation legislation needs to be viewed with a long-term lens and not as an election sweetener,” Ardino said.
The letter also drew attention to three other key issues related to the provision of financial advice that require addressing by whoever forms government, the first being legislative certainty and stability.
“We need a measured, long-term view when it comes to financial advice regulation. Ongoing change and upheaval has left licensees and advisers battered and bruised. We need the space to breathe and embed existing compliance requirements,” Ardino said.
“In practice, this means a commitment to not increase compliance requirements for some time and where appropriate to reduce some of these compliance requirements.”
He also called on both political parties to ensure financial advice can be provided in an affordable fashion to Australians and to reduce the compliance burden practitioners currently face, which has the effect of driving up the cost of advice.
Finally, he recommended stopping the practice of perpetuating mistrust in financial advice, but conceded advisers themselves have a role to play in this process.
“The reputational denigration of financial advisers needs to come to an end. We have held up our end of the bargain (meeting education standards and fee consent requirements, just for starters), and we need support from the government to rebuild consumer perception regarding the value of quality financial advice,” he noted.