In its submission to Consultation Paper 216, Advice on SMSFs: Specific disclosure requirements and SMSF costs (CP 216), Count stated it is concerned the proposed measures will mean that only the advised segment of the market will receive some of the “important information” identified by ASIC.
“Arguably, it is those unadvised individuals that are more in need of the information than those who are advised,” Count stated.
“Individuals who open an SMSF following the receipts of financial advice will generally be much better informed (even under current disclosure requirements) than those who have established an SMSF without receiving advice.”
Count suggested collaboration between the ATO and ASIC for consistency in the information received by trustees.
“We would suggest that the achievement of ASIC’s consumer protection objectives in this area may be enhanced by also working with the ATO to ensure gaps in the current disclosure regime are incorporated into the trustee declaration and key messages document,” Count stated.
“This will ensure that all trustee have access to the same information regarding the risks and obligations associated with SMSFs, including aspects such as the need to be aware of the costs and time involved in running an SMSF, additional considerations in determining appropriate investment and insurance strategies, and consideration of a wind-up strategy.”
Count also stated it is supportive of ASIC’s objectives to improve consumers’ understanding of the “risks and obligations” associated with SMSFs and is “broadly comfortable” with the proposals in CP 216.