ASIC grants relief to provide financial advice during COVID-19
ASIC grants relief to industry to provide affordable and timely financial advice during the COVID-19 pandemic
ASIC has announced three temporary relief measures that will assist industry in providing consumers with affordable and timely advice during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Relief to facilitate advice about early access to superannuationAs part of its COVID-19 economic response, the Government introduced measures to allow individuals facing particular financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic to access their superannuation early – up to $10,000 in 2019-2020 and a further $10,000 in 2020-2021.
The decision to access superannuation early is significant and many Australians will seek assistance from superannuation funds, financial advisers and registered tax agents before deciding whether to access the early release scheme.
To assist the provision of affordable advice on early access to super, ASIC has:
- allowed advice providers not to give a statement of advice (SOA) to clients when providing advice about early access to superannuation;
- permitted registered tax agents to give advice to existing clients about early access to superannuation without needing to hold an Australian financial services (AFS) licence; and
- issued a temporary no-action position for superannuation trustees to expand the scope of personal advice that may be provided by, or on behalf of, the superannuation trustee as ‘intra-fund advice’. (Intra-fund advice is provided free of charge to the recipient of the advice.)
- clients must be provided with a record of advice (ROA), which meets certain content requirements. An ROA is a shorter, simpler document that sets out the advice that is being provided;
- the advice fee, if any, is capped at $300;
- the advice provider must establish that the client is entitled to the early release of their superannuation; and
- the client must have approached the advice provider for the advice.
2. Relief to extend the timeframe for providing time-critical Statements of Advice (SOAs)The demand for time-critical financial advice has increased as a result of COVID-19.
To assist financial advisers meet the demand for time-critical advice during this difficult time, ASIC has provided temporary relief to give advice providers up to 30 business days (instead of 5 business days) to give an SOA after time-critical advice is provided.
3. Relief to enable an ROA to be given in certain circumstances
- the clients’ personal circumstances have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; and
- the client sees an adviser from the same AFS licensee or practice, not their original adviser.
Duration of the temporary relief
More information about the temporary relief measures are available at: