Super funds push for ROAs

A superannuation industry body has proposed records of advice be given on a range of topics for super fund members rather than the standard statement of advice, as a way to make the service more accessible.

ASFA (the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia) has made the call in a six-step plan to power productivity gains in the super industry post-COVID pandemic.

The body reported it has engaged with Treasury and the government to advocate for the changes.

The plan, which has suggested more stability in super policy, has also called for advice for the most frequently asked questions from super fund members to be given through ROAs, rather than through a SOA.

According to ASFA, an average SOA costs fund members between $1,500 to $2,500, whereas an average ROA would cost around $300 to $500.

The body’s proposed model would see advice providers being able to give ROAs on specified topics, with ASIC to provide a template for such advice, which ASFA said would ensure consistency and to help ensure compliance.

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Some topics however could also be categorised as intrafund advice – it would be up to the super fund to decide whether it would be provided as intrafund advice or not.

Such of the frequently asked questions listed to be answered by ROAs were “Should I stay invested as I am or move my money to a different investment option?”, “My account balance has dropped, what should I do?”, “How do I set up a pension account”, “Can I claim a tax deduction on my contributions?” and “How much can I contribute into my superannuation?”.

ASFA chief executive Martin Fahy said in light of current economic challenges, there is a need to develop solutions for problems that will arise after coronavirus.

“This includes creating productivity gains by cutting red tape to reduce the cost burden on industries and the economy,” Dr Fahy said.

Other steps in the new six-step proposal included centralising fund data reporting to government bodies such as APRA and the ATO, making it easier for members to make voluntary contributions and to claim tax deductions, and changing default fund communications from paper to electronic.

 

Super funds push for ROAs
Super funds push for ROAs
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