The Financial Planning Association has called on the major political parties to avoid election sloganeering and deliver a clear policy focus in support of an informed nation of financially enabled Australians.

And this means access to good financial advice.

“The clear evidence is that people who receive quality financial advice are better equipped to self-support, are more likely to contribute to a fiscally stronger nation throughout their lifetimes, and will retire with greater dignity and less reliance on the public purse,” said Mark Rantall, chief executive of the FPA.

“Whichever party wins the September poll, the FPA calls on the incoming government to roll back the marginal electorate rhetoric and pick up the pace on real measures that ensure the financial wellbeing of all Australians is put first.

“We seek commitments that the new government of the forty-fourth parliament will act in the long-term interests of Australians by creating a more efficient and flexible financial advice market that prioritises the interests of all citizens and their long-term future wellbeing.

“As Australia’s most motivated profession, financial planners will work tirelessly with the incoming government to remove unnecessary red tape and identify the impediments to delivering quality financial planning and advice services to more Australians who need it.”
Specifically, the FPA wants three issues dealt with on behalf of its members as a matter of priority after the election:

  • ensuring financial planners are free to move to licensees that suit their clients’ needs through fixing the glaring anomaly in grandfathering provisions;
  • ensuring that the duplication of registration under Tax Practitioners Board as well as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission does not mean duplication of competency standards, currently being created;
  • removing unnecessary red tape by extinguishing the opt-in requirement and simplifying both fee disclosure statements and best interest duty to ensure that any additional unnecessary paperwork is removed.

“It is time to get real on real issues which have a real impact on the lives of Australians. This fledgling industry of financial planning has copped a torturous period of regulatory reform on the chin,” said Rantall, sounding suitably like a politician himself.

“It is high time for all participants – from government and all players within the Australian financial services ecosystem – to support and promote the benefits of getting quality advice from qualified professional financial planners.”