Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s new Treasury ministry has received a broad endorsement by the Financial Planning Association of Australia as well as other leading financial services industry bodies.
In announcing his cabinet on Sunday, Mr Morrison named senator Jane Hume as the Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, while Michael Sukkar was named Assistant Treasurer.
Josh Frydenberg and senator Mathias Cormann have been reappointed as Treasurer and Minister for Finance, respectively.
The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) called Ms Hume’s appointment a clear indication of a strategic focus on financial services in the re-elected government.
Further, the FPA said it looks forward to engaging with the assistant minister on raising the overall standards of education, ethics and accountability.
“Assistant Minister Hume brings with her substantial experience in financial services and is an excellent choice for this portfolio as we seek to raise standards in the financial planning profession,” said FPA chief executive Dante De Gori.
“We believe change must be done in a way that minimises impact on consumers while raising the overall standards of education, ethics and accountability for anyone aspiring to give professional financial advice to Australians.”
SMSF Association CEO John Maroney said the new ministry gives the government a strong economic team at a time when superannuation will be an important issue.
In addition, Mr Maroney said he looks forward to working with the new ministry on simplifying the superannuation system, legislating an objective for superannuation, having policy stability and ensuring that superannuation delivers quality retirement outcomes for Australians.
“Appointing a minister with direct responsibility for superannuation and financial services with the broad policy agenda of implementing recommendations from the financial services royal commission and considering recommendations made by the Productivity Commission on superannuation earlier this year is recognition of the importance the Government is assigning to this policy area,” Mr Maroney said.
“It’s also important in light of the Treasurer’s stated intention to undertake a review of the retirement income system that will be crucial for policy affecting SMSFs and superannuation more widely in the future.”
FSC chief executive Sally Loane said the new Treasury team “brings enormous financial policy experience to the Parliament, which will provide Australia with much needed reform capability and sector stability”.
Further, she said the FSC will also urge the new team to deliver a comprehensive product rationalisation strategy to reduce inefficiency and costs from legacy products, as well as form one regulatory regime for financial advisers and streamlining the tax (financial) adviser requirement into the FASEA framework.
“Recommendations from the Hayne royal commission show the sector requires strong leadership and a mandate for focused reform throughout the entire parliamentary term,” Ms Loane said.
"This includes introducing a fair and competitive default superannuation framework where individuals only default once – this will prevent waste and inefficiency where consumers end up losing money because of the proliferation of multiple accounts. The focus must be on delivering better retirement outcomes for all Australians.”
Adrian Flores is a deputy 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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