A watchful eye
The insurance arena has been under close scrutiny by ASIC and the government recently. What steps should SMSF practitioners take to stay out of hot water? Miranda Brownlee reports
The insurance sector has received a great deal of attention in the past few years following reviews into the industry including the Financial System Inquiry and the Trowbridge Report. The government is also pushing ahead with reforms in this space. In April 2016, it released exposure daft legislation proposing a 60 per cent cap for broker commissions.
ASIC has also been keeping a close eye on the insurance sector. The corporate regulator released a report in October 2014, detailing the outcome of surveillance it conducted on life insurance financial advice in the industry. The ASIC report stated that the “impact of adviser conflicts of interest on the quality of life insurance advice [was] an industry-wide problem”.
With so much attention on insurance in general, it is vital SMSF practitioners ensure they are providing adequate and compliant advice on insurance.
Target areas for the regulators
The main requirement for SMSF trustees in regards to insurance is the consideration of whether they need insurance. This needs to be included in the investment strategy and reviewed annually. Despite this requirement being implemented in the regulations for SMSFs, Tactical Super director Deanne Firth says SMSF practitioners and trustees are failing to take it seriously.
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Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.