Retirement Income Review reforms unlikely to happen till mid-2022
The release of the Retirement Income Review last week is only the start of a lengthy consultation process, with any significant changes or reforms stemming from the report unlikely to occur till mid-2022, says a technical expert.
Last week, the government released the final report of the Retirement Income Review, which examined the three pillars of Australia’s retirement income system, including the age pension, superannuation and voluntary savings including home ownership.
The final report concluded that Australia’s retirement income system was effective, sound and broadly sustainable overall, but also identified a number of areas in the system requiring improvement.
BT head of financial literacy and advocacy Bryan Ashenden noted that in releasing the report, the government did not make any recommendations.
“This should be seen as the start of a lengthy consultation process on what should and shouldn’t change,” explained Mr Ashenden.
“Based on comments in the 2020 federal budget papers, we shouldn’t expect any significant changes, or reforms, off the back of this report to take effect before 1 July 2022.”
While there are unlikely to be significant reforms stemming from the report any time soon, the review, along with the consultation recently released by ASIC on the impediments to scaled advice has the potential to transform the current advice space, he said.
“Each individually has the potential for changing the current advice landscape. Together, the impact could be substantial – but this doesn’t have to be a negative. If we get it right, and get them working together, the changes really could be positive,” he said.
Mr Ashenden said the purpose of ASIC’s consultation paper is to seek input from industry participants and relevant stakeholders to help them understand the issues and impediments relating to the supply of good quality affordable personal advice and, importantly, the practical steps that can be taken by ASIC and industry to improve consumer access to good quality affordable advice.
“They acknowledge that consumers want better access to limited and affordable advice, but that many industry participants find it challenging to provide this type of advice.”
Mr Ashenden said that for many, the introduction of the FASEA Code of Ethics, and in particular Standard 6, which requires the adviser to consider the broad, longer-term impacts for a client, has made this limited or scaled advice harder to deliver.
“ASIC is keen for the industry to address the impediments to providing affordable and limited advice, and Standard 6 should not be viewed as an impediment to that outcome,” he said.
“Indeed, recent comments by FASEA in its latest draft guidance to the FASEA Code make it clear that the intent of Standard 6 is not to limit or prevent the delivery of scaled advice, and FASEA in fact recognises its importance in the advice process.”
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.