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June 5, 2013

Superannuation advice licensing of accountants

The Corporations Amendment Regulation 2013 (No. 3) was registered on 4 June 2013.

The Regulations provide transitional financial services licensing arrangements for superannuation advice by recognised accountants from 1 July 2013. The exemptions cease on 1 July 2016.

‘Recognised accountant’ means a person who holds a Public Practice Certificate issued by CPA Australia Ltd or the Institute of Public Accountants, or a Certificate of Public Practice issued by the Institute of Charted Accountants in Australia.

The Regulations:

  • provide that recognised accountants, partnerships or corporations who apply for an AFSL between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2016 and only provide particular superannuation advice services do not have to demonstrate that they meet the experience required for the purposes of the organisational competence requirement in section 912A(1)(e);
  • provide that licensees who receive an AFSL under this streamlined process must within three years of being granted the licence, if requested in writing by ASIC, demonstrate to ASIC they have the requisite knowledge and the competence to provide the financial services covered by their licence; and
  • provide that any licensee who only provides particular advice services and does not handle client-money can lodge an annual compliance certificate instead of an auditor’s report.

The exemptions only apply to recognised accountants who are only licensed to provide one or more of the following limited financial services:

  • financial product advice on self-managed superannuation funds including, but not limited to, advice to acquire (or not to acquire) or dispose of a self‑managed superannuation fund;
  • financial product advice on superannuation products in relation to a person’s existing holding in a superannuation product but only to the extent required for making a recommendation that the person establish a self-managed superannuation fund or providing advice to the person on contributions or pensions under a superannuation product;
  • class of product advice on superannuation products, securities, simple managed investment schemes, general insurance products, life risk insurance products, basic deposit products;
  • arrange to deal in an interest in a self-managed superannuation fund.

‘Class of product advice’ is defined as financial product advice about a class of products but does not include a recommendation about a specific product in the class.

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Posted 5th June 2013 by David Jacobson in Corporations Act, Financial Services, Superannuation