Senator wants to reinstate financial advice inquiry

Nationals Senator John Williams has said he plans to re-launch the Scrutiny of Financial Advice inquiry, advocating for further investigation into the provision of advice.

Mr Williams told ifa he intends to set up a Scrutiny of Financial Advice inquiry and alter the terms of reference to include the life insurance industry.

“Once you go to an election, all those inquiries stop, so I intend to reinstate the inquiry into the life insurance industry,” he said.

The senator said there have been plenty of reports of wrongdoing in the industry, adding that he has received complaints from individuals regarding life insurance policies tied to their superannuation.

“I’ve been faced with a situation where millions and millions of Australians do not even know they’ve got life insurance automatically tied up with their superannuation,” Mr Williams said.

“They probably don’t know how much insurance there is or how much premium they’re paying.”

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Mr Williams cited a case in which an industry super fund rejected a claim from one of its members before they even went to the insurance company because the member did not have enough superannuation.

“If you’ve got life insurance, it should be regardless of how much superannuation you have,” he said.

“If I insure my house for fires and storms and it burns down, the insurance company will pay me for the house that’s been burnt down, regardless of how much money I have in my savings account.

“That [amount] is irrelevant.”

As for the role that super funds should play in ensuring their members have adequate life insurance, Mr Williams said this would be unclear until the inquiry is approved by the new Parliament.

Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is a features editor at Momentum Media, focusing mainly on banking, wealth management and financial services. He has also written for Public Accountant, Accountants Daily and The CEO Magazine.

You can contact him on [email protected].

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