The announcement that the AFA will be speaking with Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Small Business Kelly O’Dwyer regarding the Life Insurance Framework has sparked a new wave of optimism among advisers that a better outcome can be achieved.
Speaking to Risk Adviser, former AFA president and managing director of Joe Nowak Financial Services, Michael Nowak, said it was “encouraging” to see that the industry has a new opportunity to discuss the reforms with Ms O’Dwyer.
“The AFA’s original position was supported by most advisers. However, they were put under a difficult situation [while discussing the reforms], but they are now able to take their original position to the new minister,” Mr Nowak said.
He added that Ms O’Dwyer’s appointment as both Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Small Business was “definitely a good outcome” for the AFA in discussions of the reforms.
“It is something that you would expect that those representing small businesses such as the AFA and the like will [be able to use as] leverage,” he said.
Director of Queensland-based risk specialist practice Bourke Financial Services, David Bourke, told Risk Adviser this is a “great start” for the industry to move forward.
“With a new minister there is a clean sheet of paper that we can start off with [to look] at the issues and work together with the government to clean up our industry even further,” Mr Bourke said.
“There is still more to go – obviously the clawback is important – but there are also other issues that we need to address with industry and the government to make it even better."
Last week, the AFA announced that it will be speaking with Ms O'Dwyer to discuss the future of the risk advice industry and express the concerns advisers have with the three-year clawback period.
AFA chief executive Brad Fox said in the announcement that it is "important the government appreciates that shifting the responsibility from the institution to the adviser threatens the future of advisers that own or are employed by small business advice practices".
Mr Fox said the association had previously been in talks with federal Liberal MP Bert van Manen regarding the concerns advisers have with the Life Insurance Framework.