‘Start pushing back on insurers,’ says FPA



As soon as the Life Insurance Framework (LIF) reforms are implemented, advisers will need to start pushing back on life insurers, said FPA head of policy and government relations Ben Marshan.

Speaking at the FPA Congress in Perth this week, Mr Marshan said the FPA will soon support advisers to put pressure on “licensees, employers and product manufacturers” in addition to life insurers.

Responding to a comment that advisers already push back, Mr Marshan said, “We don't do it as a profession. We don't all push in the same direction.

“We'll be helping you do that over the coming year.”

Mr Marshan added that the LIF bill now no longer includes any carve-outs for direct insurance.

“So the carve-out no longer exists. That got removed in the latest legislation. That is one thing we spent the year jumping up and down about,” he said.

“When the minister actually realised what the drafting of the legislation originally said, she was really quick in getting treasury to fix that up.”

At the same time, Mr Marshan announced that the Taxation Practitioners Board has approved the FPA CFP certification program as an approved course for Australian tax law.

Those hoping to re-register with the TPB and have completed units CFP 1-5 will be deemed to have completed the ‘Australian tax law’ subject, and will only need to complete an additional course in ‘commercial law’ .

The FPA was recognised as a tax agent association by the TPB in 2012, meaning that FPA members who are tax (financial) advisers with six years in the past eight years of experience can re-register with the TPB without needing to do additional study.

Today’s announcement means that CFP professionals who do not meet the experience requirements will now not have to complete additional study in ‘Australian tax law’, the statement said.

"At the FPA, we believe that high quality education is an important part of raising financial planning standards and building consumer confidence in our profession," said FPA chief executive Dante De Gori.

"For this reason, we have worked with the TPB to get the FPA recognised as an approved course provider, and the CFP certification program as an approved course in ‘Australian tax law’.

“For CFP professionals who do not meet the experience requirements, this will mean that they are only required to complete the ‘commercial law’ course to re-register with the TPB and continue to provide tax (financial) advice. We are delighted to have secured this for our members.”

Mr De Gori added that that FPA ‘voting’ members who do meet the experience requirements (six years full time experience in the last eight years), are eligible to re-register without needing to complete any further studies.

“For FPA members who have not yet renewed their TPB registration, we encourage you to check the TPB website for when your registration expires, as this may be as soon as 31 July 2017,” he said.

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