AFCA has updated its Approach to superannuation fees and charges – making a number of changes to address ‘grandfathered’ commission arrangements and updating its case studies.
In reviewing the Approach, AFCA consulted with the Financial Services Council, Super Consumers Australia, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), Treasury, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST), and the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA).
The final revised Approach is now available on the AFCA website here and will replace prior versions.
What has changed?
The changes address ‘grandfathered’ commission arrangements, and acknowledge that under the Future of Financial Advice reforms to the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) benefits and commissions given to a financial services licensee or representative under arrangements entered into before 1 July 2013 were allowed to continue until 1 January 2021.
About the Approach
The Approach explains that AFCA generally considers a trustee’s decision not to refund a fee or charge for access to financial advice debited to an account before 1 July 2013 is fair and reasonable, as long as the fee was permissible, the agreed or required advice service was provided, and the fee was sufficiently and meaningfully disclosed. For commissions paid before 1 January 2021 under ‘grandfathered’ arrangements, AFCA will consider if a trustee has complied with its obligations under the arrangement and the governing rules of the fund.
Published: 27 February 2023
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The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is a non-government ombudsman service providing free, fair and independent help with financial disputes. It is a one-stop-shop for consumers and small businesses who have a dispute with their financial firm, over things such as banking, credit, insurance, advice, investments or superannuation. Where an agreement cannot be reached between parties, AFCA can issue decisions that are binding on financial firms.