AFA Policy & Professionalism Update

Phil Anderson recently rejoined the AFA as General Manager Policy and Professionalism. He is now starting to send out updates on what is happening in our industry and what we as AFSL’s and AR’s need to do.

TPB Renewals – What You Need to Do
In August, the Tax Practitioners Board announced that 27% of the registered tax (financial) advisers who were due to renew their registration in July had failed to do so.  If this was unintentional then the consequences are significant, as impacted advisers will no longer be able to provide tax (financial) advice services.  There is a much bigger group of around 13,000 advisers due to renew in January 2018, and it is important to be prepared early.

We have received feedback from members that some of the elements of the renewal process were unexpectedly time consuming or difficult.  In particular, the experience requirement can be challenging if you have moved licensee a number of times.  For advisers renewing under the Membership of a Professional Association option, which enables an exemption from completing the Australian taxation law and commercial law subjects, you need to have 6 years relevant experience out of the last 8 years. Thus you need to prove experience over a longer period of time and have one or more supervisors verify this experience.

The TPB have provided a number of support materials to assist advisers in this renewal process, including the following:

We have also received a lot of questions about why you need to be registered as an individual and also need to have your Corporate Authorised Representative registered.  The answer to this is that where the advice is provided in the name of the CAR or the CAR receives the income, then they will fall under the legislation.  Importantly, the registration fee covers you for a three year period.

If you are part of the January 2018 group then we strongly advise that you prepare early for renewal, so that you can go to the Christmas break confident that you have secured your right to continue to operate.  Renewing early does not change the end date of your new registration period, which is for at least three years.

To check your renewal date, find yourself on the TPB register by clicking here.
 
FASEA Announcement
On 24 October 2017 the Financial Advisers Standards and Ethics Authority released their first announcement that addressed the degrees that meet the Professional Standards education requirements for new financial advisers.  This standard is based upon the Financial Planning Education Council list and includes both undergraduate and post-graduate degrees.  Whilst this announcement is targeted towards new advisers, it does include options for existing advisers to meet the announced new standard, such as the Master of Financial Planning from Kaplan.  FChFP graduates will be able to gain recognition of their FChFP units within the Masters of Financial Planning.

FASEA CEO, Dr Deen Sanders noted the importance of providing clarity on education requirements for existing advisers.  The AFA will be working closely with FASEA as this important work progresses.

To see the FASEA announcement, please click on this link.
 
Australian Financial Complaints Authority
The legislation for the establishment of the Government’s proposed new single stop External Dispute Resolution (EDR) scheme to replace FOS, CIO and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal has been introduced into parliament.  The Government’s transition team have now delivered a consultation paper where they are seeking feedback on a range of key measures.  One point that the AFA has had concerns about is the proposal to increase the compensation cap from $309k to $0.5M, which will likely have a significant impact upon the cost of PI Insurance. 

 

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