Nila Sweeney

Financial planners are striking back at a “consumer fear campaign” allegedly being perpetrated by industry superfund members.

 

The Financial Planning Association, the peak industry body for financial planners, is calling on the Industry Super Network to retract claims that retail fund members are paying for financial advice services they do not receive via ongoing fees and commissions.

 

“Enough is enough,” said FPA chief executive Mark Rantall. “On behalf of our professional financial planner members and their clients who represent some $630 bn in investments and retirement savings in Australia, I call upon the ISN to desist from its latest deceptive and hypocritical claims in the best interests of all Australians – their own industry super members included.”

 

According to the Financial Planning Association, the ISN’s advertisements promote upfront advice fees as an alternative - “conveniently urging Australians towards industry super fund choices”.

 

In addition, the FPA charges that the Industry Super Network is ignoring the fact that many members of industry super funds who do not receive in-house financial advice are currently unwittingly cross-subsidizing the minority of those who do;  and industry super fund members are subject to the same practices being questioned by the ISN of its retail counterparts, namely poor member disclosure, particularly with regard to the cross subsidy of financial advice by the silent majority of fund members.

 

“We are in the midst of a democratic political process to fundamentally reform an already world class regulatory regime under which financial planners operate in Australia. That process, called FOFA (Future of Financial Advice) should run its course without being derailed by veiled political messages dressed up as consumer advocacy – the likes of which we see perpetrated on working Australians by the ISN through this advertising campaign,” Rantall said.

 

“It is telling in the extreme that the ISN sees fit to launch a fresh fear campaign on the retirement planning and savings of working Australians while conveniently ignoring the many faults in its own backyard.”

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