ASIC has announced a suite of measures to assist financial planners to provide advice to Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis.
ASIC regulatory relief
- Timing for giving Statements of Advice (SOA) – Financial planners will have up to 30 days (instead of the usual five days) to provide a Statement of Advice (SOA) to a client if they have provided urgent (time-critical) advice in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis.
- SOA not required in some circumstances – Financial planners will not have to give a new SOA to a client if they (or an associated entity) have previously given a SOA to that client covering their personal circumstances and relating to the same class of financial products they are advising on. In these cases, a financial planner must issue a Record of Advice (ROA) as soon as practicable after advising their client, that covers the changes to the client’s circumstances, the recommendations made, and any significant consequences or charges to the client if they act on the recommendations (as per section 947D of the Corporations Act 2001).
- No SOA on early release of superannuation – Financial planners will be able to give advice to clients (existing and new) relating to the early release of superannuation without the requirement to provide a SOA even when they haven’t previously given advice on their superannuation, subject to the fees for this advice being capped at $300. Advice provided under this exemption must include whether the client is eligible for an early release of superannuation, a recommendation based on the personal circumstances of the client of whether they should access an early release of superannuation, the details of the superannuation product to which this recommendation relates. Financial planners must issue a Record of Advice (ROA), as soon as practicable after advising their client, that covers the advice provided and any significant consequences or charges to the client if they act on the recommendations (as per section 947D of the Corporations Act 2001). No unsolicited contact with the client to spruik this advice service is allowed.
ASIC also has a dedicated COVID-19 FAQ for planners and AFSLs which includes information on its advice relief, and its delayed work on life insurance advice, grandfathered commissions and ASIC notices to reduce the regulatory burden for financial planners.
New Record of Advice template available
To support members giving client advice on early access to super under ASIC’s regulatory relief summarised below, the FPA has developed a Record of Advice (ROA) template. It can be customised with your own practice branding and tailored to your client’s financial position and goals. The template, sample ROA and how-to video are available now.
Midwinter has made the ROA template available in Advice OS to all users and Financial Mappers has made the ROA available as a digital ROA including interactive and voice-over elements. If you have any questions, please access FPA Community.