Stephen Jones

Following through on his election promise to the industry, financial services minister Stephen Jones announced on Tuesday afternoon he has directed Treasury to begin work on delivering the experience pathway “as soon as possible”.

Last December Jones proposed providing a transitional pathway for experienced advisers with an unblemished record and 10 years of experience to continue in the industry, which led to the previous government putting the proposal up for consultation days later.

The Albanese government is yet to confirm whether any of the proposals raised in the consultation will be adopted.

Jones said there are likely to be more changes necessary after the “mess left by the previous Government”.

“I have heard from the sector about the cost and strain caused by various regulatory issues, and my commitment to you remains this: I will work with you, consult with you, and listen with you to ensure that your industry continues to be able to serve Australians well.”

While some in the industry welcomed relief from the education standards, the proposal received heavy criticism from advisers and industry leaders.

It divided the memberships of the Financial Planning Association and Association of Financial Advisers, which surveyed their membership bases before commencing a submission to the consult.

Despite criticism it would water down professionalism – which Jones and former financial services minister Jane Hume both disputed – Jones described the proposal as part of the “transition to professionalism”.

“We called for [professionalism] some 10 years ago and are 100 per cent committed to it,” Jones said on a webcast hosted by the FPA before the election. “There is a need to put in place a transition arrangement to halt the large-scale exit of advisers who are otherwise competent and have a capacity to perform a job that is needed to be done.”

2 comments on “Jones pulls trigger on education carve-out”
  1. Avatar
    Martin Le Tessier

    When the accounting profession moved to requiring university undergraduate degrees for proactitioners it didn’t require experienced existing accountants to go to university. We need to be adaptive and progressive but not push out experienced practitioners who are proefessionally serving their clients. No one is suggesting that new entrants don’t need a degree.

  2. Avatar
    Jeremy Wright

    The harsh reality, is that due to the spiraling cost and time to provide advice, the remaining Advisers have had to focus on higher wealth clients with retirement needs and additional wealth creation.

    Unfortunately, this has now led to the vast majority of Australians needs being unmet.

    Worse still, the foundation of all Investment Planning, which is of course, wealth protection that looks after current and future income needs and asset preservation, has been decimated by overzealous and restrictive Regulation that has taken away the incentive to work in the Life and Disability advice space.

    For all those Advisers who went through hell over the last few years trying to study, help their clients through incredibly hard times and keep their Businesses on track, you deserve a medal.

    However, what we all went through is now the past and today, we must look objectively to how we can encourage young and older Australians to dip their toes in the water and start their career in the Financial services Industry.

    Considering Australia needs 25,000 risk specialists and today we have only around 1200, then making risk advice a first step to see how our Industry works, while finding their feet is the obvious start.

    Wealthy Australians will always be able to find an Investment Adviser to work with, as they can afford to pay the fees.

    Australians however, are at a critical juncture and are woefully under-insured, which means they can lose everything they have worked for if they are unable to earn sufficient income to meet their needs.

    I have said it many times and nothing has changed, nor has anyone put up a better alternative to what MUST BE DONE, which is to separate Risk advice from Investment advice and make it attractive and less restrictive to enter the Industry.

    I warned what would happen years ago and to my dismay, everything I said has come to being, which has been a massive exodus of risk Advisers and a decline in holistic Advisers who want to continue writing risk Business.

    This is a path to destruction for the retail Life Companies unless there is some breathing space to allow them to rebuild and the only way that they can do this, is to have more Advisers in the risk space.

    The solution is so simple and needs to be actioned now, as every day we see more Advisers leaving the Industry due to unnecessary conditions that have driven them to the point of mental and physical exhaustion and this must stop.

    If we want to see if the point of entry to become an Insurance Adviser is too hard, then look at the last few years figures of Advisers leaving and new entrants who want to specialise in risk.

    It would be a handful coming in and thousands leaving.

    That is nothing to be proud of and must change.

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