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Cbus adviser fate hinges on pilot

Industry Fund Services advisers currently seconded to Cbus may be out of a job if its pilot program with the FPA is rolled out nationally at the end of the month.

The program – which was launched in October 2013 and will see Cbus clients referred to FPA members for comprehensive advice services – is due to be green-lighted for national rollout by the two organisations at the end of June, having been trialled in Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory.

While the pilot is yet to get an official go-ahead, FPA chief executive Mark Rantall told ifa yesterday that the “review is in the final stages of completion” and that the pilot has worked “particularly well” with “both parties” pleased with the progress, anticipating a confirmation of the rollout in the next few weeks.

Should the program be extended to the other states and territories, the advisers currently providing personal advice services to Cbus members in these remaining jurisdictions – all of whom are employed by licensee Industry Funds Services and embedded to the industry fund – may be sent packing.

“A national rollout of the program will have implications for the embedded, IFS-employed, ‘in-house’ financial planner roles at Cbus and, as stated, we are working closely with them, IFS and other stakeholders throughout the pilot program,” Cbus national manager, advice services, Greg Harper told ifa earlier this year.

However, Mr Harper added that while the embedded IFS advisers may be no longer be required, that Cbus intra-fund advisers will be retained regardless of the status of the FPA referral program.


“The national rollout of the program will have no impact on our intra-fund advisers,” Mr Harper said. “Intra-fund advice is provided over the phone by the Cbus Advice Team. This key service to fund members and the team providing it will not be affected by any decisions taken in relation to the pilot.”

Feedback from Cbus members will be instrumental in the industry fund’s decision on a national rollout, he added, explaining also that all parties are being kept informed of any “employment implications”.