An industry body has sought to reassure advisers that laws to extend the deadline for FASEA compliance will still pass later this year, with further delays to the legislation likely as a reduced parliamentary sitting next week gives first priority to stimulus measures related to COVID-19.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Parliament would meet “only to consider the legislation that will enact the stimulus package and any other immediate business”.
He added that only half the usual number of parliamentarians would attend the March sitting, with pair voting arrangements in place across the major parties and crossbench and independent MPs and senators free to decide whether to attend or not.
The bill to extend FASEA deadlines is currently awaiting passage through the Senate, which is likely to be particularly affected by the new arrangements, with Mr Morrison saying voting processes in the upper house “will be finalised in consultation with the opposition and the Senate crossbench in the coming days”.
Speaking to ifa, FPA chief executive Dante De Gori said the government was understandably focused on keeping the economy afloat during the current crisis, and that advisers could be assured of the eventual passage of the FASEA extension.
“It is important to remember that the extensions to the deadlines for the FASEA exam and education standard only need to pass the Senate to become law,” he said.
“Stephen Jones MP confirmed Labor’s support for the legislation. It is therefore not a matter of if, just a matter of when the extension will be legislated.”
Mr De Gori said the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Australians was “a critical situation that is developing day by day, hour by hour”.
“Keeping the economy afloat and Australians safe is the government’s main priority right now,” he said.
Mr De Gori added that advisers would likely have a critical role to play with their clients as the economic and financial impact of the crisis continued to play out.
“The FPA is helping its members support their clients and ensure they receive the advice they require with their investments, superannuation and personal finances during this critical time,” he said.
“In recent days, the FPA has also been liaising with the government to consider the readiness of the financial planning profession to plan and implement strategies to manage the financial impact of COVID-19 on Australians.”
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