Major professional bodies band together to help educators decide on early super access
Five major Australian professional bodies in the financial services industry have joined forces to support Australians from a variety of professions, including early childhood education and care (ECEC) to make wise choices about whether or not to take advantage of Government rulings that allow early access to superannuation, and other core support at this time.
CPA Australia, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), SMSF Association (SMSFA), Financial Planning Association (FPA) and Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) – have come together to ensure Australians can get the advice they need to understand the Federal Government’s COVID-19 economic packages, including early access to their superannuation.
The decision to allow Australians early access to their superannuation was handed down by ASIC recently, in a measure designed to support those who have been financially affected by COVID-19. Eligible citizens and permanent residents of Australia or New Zealand can apply for up to $10,000 in financial year 2019–20 and up to a further $10,000 in financial year 2020–21.
Registered Tax Agents (RTAs) can now temporarily give advice about early access to superannuation, without having to hold an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence, and financial planners will have access to simplified advice documents in the place of a long and complex statement of advice.
“The decision to access superannuation early is a significant one with a long-term impact on individuals’ retirement savings, so for them to be able to speak to an accountant or adviser for a small fee to get the advice they need without sacrificing safeguards is welcomed,” SMSF Association CEO John Maroney said.
The joint bodies noted that there has been increasing demand for advice around early access to super since the announcement, and that they had decided to form their group to help the Australian community, and to ensure there are more skilled advisers in the marketplace to address this demand.
CPA Australia CEO Andrew Hunter said that these “unprecedented times” called for a pragmatic approach to regulation and a commitment from the associations to work together in the public interest.
Over 600,000 Australians have registered an interest in accessing their super early, so there is a great need for support, Mr Hunter said, adding “it’s important that these people and others also considering their options can access professional advice.”
IPA CEO Andrew Conway added “At this time in particular, Australians need access to high quality financial advice. Decisions around superannuation are critical to quality of life. For this reason, a decision to access superannuation early should be based on advice that is easily accessible.”
For information about early access to superannuation, please see here.