In the association's submission to ASIC on Consultation Paper 216 (CP 216), SPAA outlined its stance on adviser training and education, stating it is necessary advisers have the “competencies and skills” to inform potential trustees about the suitability of an SMSF to their circumstances.
“In line with this SPAA has consistently argued that the proposed update of RG 146 for the training of advisers should include a specialist SMSF topic if advisers wish to provide advice on SMSFs,” said SPAA chief executive Andrea Slattery.
“We were surprised that ASIC had not suggested an additional specific topic in light of recent statements and research issued by ASIC that has shown concern for advice practices.
“Similarly, it is surprising ASIC has not sought specific SMSF competencies in the updated RG 146 when it has concerns regarding the quality of disclosures made to potential SMSF trustees about the risks in being a trustee.
“We believe that including an SMSF topic in RG 146, and recognising it as a specialist area of superannuation advice, will increase the level of professionalism and understanding of financial advisers who advise on the establishment and operation of SMSFs, leading to increased consumer protection.”
Ms Slattery previously told SMSF Adviser that practitioners in SMSF advice should possess an undergraduate level of competence. She added that those meeting only RG 146 requirements “haven’t actually extended their knowledge enough”.
Practitioners who provide advice without adequate competence may not be meeting the needs of consumers, ultimately contributing to a risk of increased regulation and “reduced opportunities” in the SMSF space, Ms Slattery added.