Government to take ‘different approach’ on insurance



The federal government has responded to the recommendations made by David Murray in the Financial System Inquiry which called for level commissions for all risk advice.

The government said it “agrees” more can be done to better align the interests of financial firms and consumers, however it added that it “intends to take a different approach to that recommended by the inquiry for retail life insurance”.

“We support the retail life insurance industry’s proposed reforms as announced by the then assistant treasurer on 25 June 2015. The government will consider the extent to which legislation and/or action by ASIC may be necessary to implement the industry agreement,” the government said in its response.

“A government review in 2018 will consider whether the new industry arrangements for life insurance advice have better aligned the interests of firms and consumers. If the review suggests further reform, consideration would be given to the inquiry’s recommendation for a level commission structure or further extending the existing Future of Financial Advice provisions on conflicted remuneration to life insurance advice.

“The government will also develop legislation to allow ASIC to ban individuals from management within financial firms from operating in the industry,” the response said.

The Turnbull government has also agreed with Mr Murray's recommendation to introduce a mechanism to facilitate the rationalisation of legacy products in the life insurance sector. 

"It is important that consumers should not be worse off due to any transition to a newer product," the response said. 

"Under the existing framework there are possible tax implications of facilitating the transition away from legacy products, which will be explored in the context of the government’s taxation white paper process."

More to come. 

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