14 April 2020

Improving consumer access to financial advice during COVID-19

Senator the Hon Jane Hume, Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, welcomes the temporary relief measures announced today by ASIC to assist financial advisers, registered tax agents and superannuation funds to deliver affordable and timely advice to consumers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Morrison Government recognises that many Australians are currently seeking urgent assistance from their financial advisers, registered tax agents and superannuation funds to make decisions about their finances due to the impact of COVID-19.

These relief measures will allow consumers:

  • to access immediate, low-cost advice about whether to take advantage of early access to superannuation;
  • to receive advice more quickly, through a shorter-form Record of Advice, where they have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • to increase the availability of time-critical advice – by extending the timeframe for providing a long-form Statement of Advice from five to 30 days after advice is provided.

These temporary measures will be accompanied by additional surveillance activity by ASIC to ensure advisers, registered tax agents and superannuation trustees are acting in the best interests of their clients and members.

Assistant Minister Jane Hume said, ‘I welcome ASIC’s announcement: it is more important than ever for Australian consumers to get sound advice on how to manage their financial affairs.’

‘These measures will help ensure all Australians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can quickly access the financial advice they need,’ Assistant Minister Hume said.

The measures announced today, in conjunction with the extensions to the deadline for FASEA exams and qualifications requirements already announced, will provide advisers with appropriate assurance to continue providing quality advice at this challenging time.

Further information on these measures is available on the ASIC website.