SMSF industry welcomes passage of FASEA extension bill
With both houses of parliament finally passing the FASEA extension bill, advisers will now have additional time to meet exam and qualification requirements.
Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Measures No. 3) Bill 2019 was passed by the Senate on Wednesday with bipartisan support after Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick backed down on an amendment the Senate previously insisted on.
Mr Patrick made the decision to withdraw the amendment — which related to grandfathered large proprietary companies — because there was “urgent need for financial advisers to be relieved in terms of their requirements for professional qualifications”, as reported by SMSF Adviser sister title ifa.
The legislation will provide advisers with an extra year to complete the FASEA exam and two additional years to meet its qualification requirements.
SMSF Association chief executive John Maroney said the strong support shown by the Senate was excellent news for the industry.
“It illustrates all sides of parliament recognise that the industry needs more time to adjust to the FASEA reforms while remaining on the path towards improved financial advice standards,” Mr Maroney said.
“The industry has had much to contend with recently, and this has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, so the passing of this legislation will give advisers a reprieve at the very time they need it.”
Mr Maroney said the government, opposition and minor parties have demonstrated “a willingness to listen to genuine industry concerns about the pace of change while not sacrificing the integrity of the reforms that are so crucial to raising the industry’s educational, training and ethical standards”.
The Association of Financial Advisers also welcomed the passing of the bill, and thanked those involved for recognising the challenges facing financial advisers. It will allow advisers to continue to focus on the immediate needs of their clients, who are facing the economic impact of the COVID 19 crisis.
AFA chief executive Philip Kewin said advisers will now be able to “operate with certainty in planning for successfully passing the exam before the end of 2021 and the completion of their education requirements by the end of 2025”.
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.