Stephen Jones (left) and Jim Chalmers

After the government went on the offensive, Labor has taken a more diplomatic path in presenting its case for why it is better for the financial services industry.

Appearing via video-link at the SMSF Association National Conference in Adelaide Thursday, shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers playfully avoided falling into the same antagonistic political discourse the financial services minister used in her speech.

“I know in the teeth of this election campaign what you’re really hoping from me is 15 minutes of partisan spray about all the weaknesses in the government,” Chalmers said. “Unfortunately, I’m not going to do that. Hopefully you’re not too disappointed.

“What I’m hoping to do instead is take a step back and give you a sense of how I’m seeing the economy and what policies I think we need.”

Super future

Chalmers said the broader Australian population doesn’t understand SMSFs are a “big part” of the super sector.

A quarter of superannuation assets under management are in the SMSF sector, which now boats over 600,000 funds with 1.1 million members according to ATO data.

Analysis from Wealth Data has found the level of assets per SMSF adviser has more than doubled over the last five years.

“In simple terms the SMSF cake is getting bigger but the number of slices per adviser has reduced,” Wealth Data director Colin Williams said.

“While not every SMSF is seeking an adviser and not every adviser wants to provide advice to SMSFs, there is little doubt that existing advisers who want to be part of this opportunity are in a very strong position.”

Shadow financial services and superannuation minister Stephen Jones said he wanted to avoid continuous “regulatory hits”, echoing a similar line he made at the RIAA conference a fortnight earlier.

“The last thing we want for the SMSF sector, whether its advisers, accountants or customers, to worry about is the next regulatory hit coming out of Canberra,” Jones said. “We want you focused on delivering great outcomes to members and for the retirees themselves we want you to have piece of mind in your retirement.”

Like Hume the day before, Jones said he wanted to “reduce red tape” in the advice industry.

“We want to guarantee retirees have access to affordable, professional advice at the right time and in a way they can afford and understand. Over the last five years the advice sector has been in turmoil.”