financial advice, SMSF, Superannuation

SMSF advice a possibility from APRA fund

SMSF advice

Calls to allow APRA-regulated funds to provide advice may mean they also have to consider a member’s SMSF benefits in the circumstances of that advice.

Calls for large superannuation funds to be able to provide advice on super benefits may create opportunities for fund members to get cheap advice regarding their SMSF benefits as well, according to an SMSF lawyer.

DBA Lawyers senior associate Shaun Backhaus said the Quality of Advice Review report, released in February, did not address any matters specific to the SMSF sector, but did consider changes to the advice that could be provided by Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)-regulated funds.

“The report suggested the trustees of APRA-regulated funds be allowed to provide personal advice to members and charge them for it,” Backhaus said during a recent online presentation.

“I did not think about this point at the time because these large funds were the focus of this review document.

“However, the proposal is that the trustees of large super funds would be able to provide personal advice to members taking into account their wider circumstances, including the spouse’s circumstances and presumably what spouses are owning, and so on.

“As such, is it going to be possible to put a balance into one of these large funds and then get advice that takes into account your SMSF benefits as well?

“The SMSF is part of your wider personal advice needs and the fund would not be able to give proper personal advice without taking into account someone’s SMSF as well.”

He added this channel may be useful given the QAR report did not adopt suggestions from parts of the SMSF sector to allow accountants to have a wider scope in advising clients on SMSF-related matters.

“The report did not see a reason for any sort of exemption and stated an exemption would not meet consumer protection needs, such as providing access to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, and so pushed back on the idea accountants would have any sort of exemption,” he said.

“So, this way [of obtaining SMSF advice via an APRA-regulated fund] may be an easy way to get cheaper advice than what you would get from a one-on-one relationship with a financial adviser.”

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