The government has announced an extension of the deadline for advisers to complete the FASEA exam as well as meet FASEA’s qualification requirements.
In a statement, assistant minister for superannuation, financial services and financial technology Jane Hume announced that under the new requirements, advisers who were registered on the Financial Adviser Register on 1 January 2019 must:
The changes will not apply to new advisers registered after 1 January 2019.
“The extension of the exam will ensure that all advisers, including rural and regional advisers, will have two years to sit the exam, as originally intended,” Ms Hume said.
“The extension of the qualification requirements will assist working parents, including those taking parental leave during the transition period, to have sufficient time to meet the requirements, maintaining a diverse adviser industry.”
The exam is only available in capital cities, and will not be available in regional areas until September 2019.
It was widely expected that Ms Hume would announce the changes at the recent Association of Financial Advisers Conference in Adelaide earlier this week. However, that announcement failed to materialise.
“The government is listening to your concerns and we want to assure you that we are carefully considering how we will proceed,” Ms Hume said at the conference.
The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) welcomes the government’s announcement, with chief executive Dante De Gori saying that existing financial planners are no longer being unfairly disadvantaged by delays from FASEA in rolling out its exam and its new code of ethics.
“The government has done the right thing by proposing to extend the deadlines for all existing financial planners to sit and pass the FASEA exam and meet the education standard," Mr De Gori said.
“The proposed new deadlines will give existing financial planners more time to study, ensuring that these reforms are successful at raising the bar across the profession.
“We’re pleased that minister Hume has listened to the feedback from our members and been willing to work with the FPA and AFA jointly to deliver a better outcome for all financial planners and their clients.”
Similarly, the Association of Financial Advisers CEO Philip Kewin said it is an important development that reflects the government’s recognition of the challenges in the FASEA process.
“We have worked closely with the Financial Planning Association on this and we are pleased that this work and the engagement we have had with the government, along with the work our members have done visiting their local MPs, has been worthwhile. It is clear the government has listened,” Mr Kewin said.
“The FASEA process has taken a lot longer than expected. The new time frame gives advisers the appropriate time to prepare for the exam and to deal with their other challenges.”
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