In a release on Friday, Senator Jane Hume, Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, said the government will look to legislate to provide additional time for existing advisers to meet new qualification and examination requirements set by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA).
The new deadline will mean existing accountants who provide financial advice and were registered on the Financial Adviser Register on 1 January 2019 must now complete the FASEA-approved exam by 1 January 2022, and meet FASEA’s qualification requirements by 1 January 2026.
The previous timeline was 1 January 2021 for the FASEA exam, and 1 January 2024 for the qualification requirements.
These changes will not apply to new advisers registered after 1 January 2019.
“While making these changes to raise education standards in the industry, we also need to balance the impact of these reforms against maintaining the ongoing availability, quality and affordability of advice,” Senator Hume said.
“Currently, the exam is only available in capital cities, and will not be available in regional areas until September 2019. The extension of the exam will ensure that all advisers, including rural and regional advisers, will have two years to sit the exam, as originally intended.
“The extension of the qualification requirements will assist working parents, including those taking parental leave during the transition period, to have sufficient time to meet the requirements, maintaining a diverse adviser industry.”
The deadline extension comes after Senator Hume said she was aware of the concerns and feedback from the industry in her address to the Financial Services Council Summit.
“We know it is important to strike the right balance between the need to improve the professional standards of advisers operating in the industry, but also recognising that many of these advisers need to balance work, study and family commitments,” Senator Hume said.
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.