ASIC has released Information Sheet INFO216, which summarises
the AFS licensing requirements for accountants who are providing
services to self-managed superannuation funds.
With the significant changes to superannuation announced as part
of the 2016 Budget now law, this is a timely reminder that
accountants who provide advice to clients on superannuation issues
must either be covered by an AFSL or limit the advice and services
they provide to ensure they are not in breach of the
Given the complexity of the new rules and their wide ranging
impact (particularly the application of the transfer balance caps),
this area will be extremely high risk for accountants assisting
SMSF clients in revising their superannuation arrangements,
including their pension and estate planning strategies.
For example, accountants will need to be covered by an AFSL if
they provide advice on:
stopping a transition to retirement income stream;
converting a transition to retirement income stream to an
account based pension;
commuting part of an existing pension back to accumulation
phase or as a lump sum; or
starting a new account based pension.
Many clients will need advice on these issues in 2017 and beyond
to deal with the 2016 Budget changes to the superannuation system.
It will also be quite easy for regulators like ASIC to detect as
the client's circumstances will have changed with a very
obvious paper trail (for example tax returns).
This is not a complete list. Accountants who are not covered by
an AFSL must be very careful as to what they say or do to help
Please contact a member of the CGW team if you would like any
assistance regarding your AFS licence requirements or implementing
strategies for your clients to deal with the changes to the tax
treatment of pensions, implementation of the transfer balance cap
rules or adjustments to their estate planning strategy.
Cooper Grace Ward is a leading Australian law firm based in
This publication is for information only and is not legal
advice. You should obtain advice that is specific to your
circumstances and not rely on this publication as legal advice. If
there are any issues you would like us to advise you on arising
from this publication, please contact Cooper Grace Ward
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The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 is one of the most significant commercial law reforms in recent times.
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