Sarah Abood

The Financial Planning Association will reduce total membership fees for Certified Financial Planners by $100 to $995 per year, and introduce a new pricing schedule to accommodate broader industry developments such as the provisional adviser program.

Commencing the upcoming financial year, the price drop marks the first change made to the FPA’s fee structure in seven years.

The previous fee included a base of $895 with a $200 marketing levy totalling $1095, but the FPA will remove the marketing levy and consolidate the fee into a single charge of $995.

FPA chief executive Sarah Abood tells Professional Planner the move is designed to free up the allocation of revenue. Instead of a certain amount dedicated to marketing, the new pricing structure affords the association more ways to support members.

“We wanted to get rid of the marketing levy because it’s not serving it’s purpose of supporting the designation,” Abood says. “The other thing we did was benchmark the fees against other associations and against the CFP designation globally.”

The CEO says the marketing levy was tied to specific activities which limited flexibility for the changing needs of CFPs, and the change gives them more discretion to allocate funds.

“[CFPs] are starting to focus less on leads from the general public and looking to us more generally to support the designation with all sorts of people, including other professionals.”

Standard FPA practitioner membership fees will remain at $595 per year, however new membership categories at various price points will also be introduced including a discounted fee for provisional advisers.

No member should see an increase in their membership fee according to the association.

“There’s no one that’s going to have a forced fee increase unless they actively choose to change categories,” Abood says.

“We’re introducing a new provisional adviser category that didn’t exist before that’s trying to help people who are transitioning into the profession, that’s at a discounted price.”

The FPA has seen a 4 per cent reduction in Australian membership recently, against a broader industry decline of 11 per cent in adviser numbers for the same period.

Abood previously described this as a “positive sign for the profession”, which welcomed 164 new CFP accredited professionals in 2021.

Globally, the total number of CFP professionals reached 203,312 at the end of 2021, which is a 5.5 per cent increase over the year according to figures from the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB), owner of the CFP program outside of the US.