Advisers can ‘make a difference’ on LIF, says Synchron



Advisers are being urged by dealer group Synchron to write to their local federal member and state senator to appeal for amendments to be made to the Life Insurance Framework (LIF).

With the federal government incorporating the LIF as part of its formal response to the Financial System Inquiry, Synchron director Don Trapnell has provided a letter template to advisers, saying they can “make a difference” by sending a letter to their local federal member to have changes made to the reforms.

“The challenges we are currently facing with the commission levels and the three-year responsibility period proposed by the [LIF] and apparently accepted by Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer are amongst the most potentially devastating our industry has ever faced,” Mr Trapnell wrote.

“If we sit and do nothing, then we only have ourselves to blame.

“Clearly we need to concentrate on Liberal members of parliament for the other side will disregard any pleas we may have for help,” he said.

Several concerns are raised in the letter provided by Synchron, especially around consumer benefits and small businesses.

“There is no real consumer benefit – consumers will pay more for quality advice with upfront fees.

"Small business will suffer," the letter states.

"Banks will gain a competitive advantage in advice and product sales of life insurance.

“How is that good for consumers given their appalling advice track record and the limitation of product choice?” the letter asks.

Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Small Business Kelly O'Dwyer has said that while the LIF formed part of the government's response to the Financial System Inquiry, the start date of the reforms will be pushed back to July 2016.

Previously speaking to Risk Adviser, AFA chief executive Brad Fox said pushing back the start date is 'appropriate' and would give more time for the industry to adjust to the reforms.

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