Minister Jane Hume (left) and Labor MP Jenny McAllister

Labor party senator Jenny McAllister has launched an extraordinary attack on financial advisers, refusing to back a bill seeking to extend SMSFs from four to six allowable members until a review is conducted into the “shonky” conduct of advisers and trustees.

Speaking in the senate this morning, McAllister repeated a line of concern from Super Consumers Australia questioning whether the proposal to broaden self-managed super funds will help “in an environment where barriers to accessing unconflicted financial advice persist”.

Conflicted advisers would be the real winners in any extension of the SMSF mandate, McAllister continued.

“The people who will benefit most from these arrangements are financial advisers giving shonky advice, the kind of advice we’ve seen again, and again, and again, the kind of advice exposed in the Hayne Royal Commission,” she said. “There are inadequate protections for consumers, and this bill exposes people further to these risks.”

McAllister, who is Labor’s shadow cabinet secretary, did not address the outsized role institutional providers – which have largely left the advice industry – played in the royal commission blood-letting.

The senator said the ALP is seeking a review of the bill’s operations within 12 months, including “consideration of the conduct of financial advisers and trustees, and the performance and governance of self-managed superannuation funds”.

No mention was made by McAllister of the advice review Treasury is already scheduled to conduct next year.

‘Unfortunate and disingenuous’

Responding to McAllister’s comments, the minister for financial services, superannuation and the digital economy, Jane Hume, defended the advice industry.

“I think it’s rather unfortunate and disingenuous of the opposition to disparage the good work that financial advisers do and the contribution that they make to the financial well-being of thousands and thousands of Australians,” Hume said at the hearing.

The minister highlighted the work the government has done to implement the recommendations made in the royal commission’s final report, including strengthening fee arrangements and disclosure requirements as well as committing to introduce legislation to establish the industry’s single disciplinary body by 30 June this year.

By blocking the bill, the ALP was reinforcing the perception that the party does not support consumers’ rights to manage their own money, Hume said.

“It’s not a complicated bill at all,” she said. “The increase in the maximum number of allowable members intends to provide additional consumer choice and flexibility to manage retirement savings, and that’s especially so for large families.”


7 comments on “ALP attacks ‘shonky’ advisers in SMSF bill shut-down”
  1. Avatar
    Nick Carmichael

    This is just the Labor party looking after their union/industry funds mates to keep the cash in those funds longer to milk their clients for more. Why would you need to prevent choice and what facts are produced around the advice corruption she alleges???? ALP totally untrustworthy.

  2. Avatar
    Wayne Leggett

    How many times can we hear this same nonsense? There are (almost) no “shonky” advisers. There are law-abiding “financial advisers” and there are “shonks” masquerading as advisers. The rules don’t matter to the latter group, because they don’t abide by them, anyhow. So, explain to me how these “shonks” are aided by the “six member” idea, Jenny.

  3. Avatar
    Stuart Mangion

    While I see that as a viewpoint of some trying to score a political point.
    How about the majority of ethical advisers, doing the right thing.
    Do not both side of politics see the need for advice or aging population and know that good advice will ultimately lead to fewer people on the Social Security network

  4. Avatar
    George Lawrence

    The proposal, to increase the members of SMSFs from 4 to 6, is the real issue. It is a retrograde step and won’t solve anything.

  5. Avatar
    Daniel Budreika

    Have I missed something here? I can only assume there is more to this than what was reported. Based on what I just read, McAllister’s argument that expanding SMSF members from 4 to 6 will somehow benefit shonky advisers makes no sense at all.

  6. Avatar
    Graham Hutton

    One wonders exactly what “Shonky” advice Jenny McAllister is referring to, but apparently disinclined to elaborate on . while I don’t dispute the existence of some poor advisers out there, I suspect there is a hidden agenda here from the ALP side.

  7. Avatar

    Bit hypocritical calling another profession “shonky”, given the corruption and pork barreling that occurs in politics.

Join the discussion