ASIC updates its guidance on SMSF advice

16 January 2023
Matthew Bode, Partner, Brisbane

By the end of 2022, ASIC had undertaken an internal review of its Self-Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSF) information sheets in line with key strategic priorities stated in ASIC’s Corporate Plan for 2022-2026 (see ASIC’s Corporate Plan 2022-26). One of ASIC’s aims is to protect and help consumers as they plan for their future retirement. Consumers need to understand the differences in the costs, risks and responsibilities involved with an SMSF when compared to an Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) regulated fund. As a result, ASIC has recently provided updated regulations and guidance on the provision of SMSF advice.

ASIC has published Information Sheet 274 ‘Tips for giving self-managed superannuation fund advice’ (INFO 274) (see here INFO 274). INFO 274 assists Australian Financial Service (AFS) licensees and their representatives with directions to comply with their obligations when they provide personal advice about SMSFs.

Financial advisers are pivotal in advising potential consumers as to whether or not an SMSF is suitable for them. Key changes to INFO 274 and on ASIC’s Moneysmart’s SMSF webpage include the following:

  • Highlighting SMSFs’ risks and the importance of seeking professional advice;
  • Ensuring comparisons about SMSFs and APRA regulated funds remain relevant and up to date;
  • The removal of guidance about a minimum balance requirement needed for an SMSF (as it is not the sole indicator of suitability); and
  • Consolidation of existing guidance in INFO 205 and INFO 206.

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Authored by: 

Matthew Bode, Partner
Elizabeth Ziegler, Associate
Chloe Parsons-Pope, Law Clerk

This update does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and it is not intended to be comprehensive. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.

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