Vanguard urges consideration of Govt-funded advice service
The Federal Government has been urged to give further consideration to a publicly-funded and independent financial advice service, similar to that in operation in the United Kingdom.
Vanguard Australia has responded to a Treasury discussion paper by directly referencing the UK’s Pension Wise service which enables people aged over 50 to access free and impartial service stating that it has been consistently welcomed by UK consumers.
“While a government advice service will not on its own be able to fully address the advice gap in Australia, we support further consideration of the benefits and implications of a government-offered advice service to supplement existing advice channels,” it said.
High up in its response to the Treasury discussion paper, Vanguard said it supports “urgent progress on reforms to the safe harbour, statement of advice and intrafund advice rules as measure to streamline and assist with the affordability of personal financial advice”.
Further it said that it recommended the Government undertakes consultation on improving data sharing between Government agencies and superannuation funds, employing a consumer-led consent model.
The Vanguard response said that the company had long supported the benefits of personal financial advice “whether the advice is delivered through intermediated channels by professional financial advisers or by a product issuer offering guidance”.
“We believe advice should be accessible in different ways to suit diverse consumer needs, preference and circumstances, and that advice should be affordable in terms of delivering long-term value for the cost incurred,” it said.
The response said that single issue advice or limited advice is commercially unviable for many financial advisers and advice providers and that Vanguard Australia advocates for the statement of advice requirements to be replaced with technologically neutral disclosure requirements that allow flexibility and should improve customer understanding and implementation of advice”.