Stephen Jones challenges whether advice is affordable or not

Stephen Jones, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Financial Services, has challenged the issue about whether financial advice was affordable or not.

Speaking at the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) conference, Jones said while advice firms needed to get their business models right with universal superannuation “Australians were retiring with more savings than ever and that the industry needed to persuade consumers it was in their interest to get advice and put their superannuation to work in their own best interest”.

“Nobody likes to pay legal fees, accountants fees, tax agents but they do and it’s a challenge for the industry to prove the value of advice,” he said.

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Jones said the issue of access to financial advice in amidst of a financial crisis and pandemic was critical for households and businesses.

“It’s critical that we get the business model right and there is a role from government that needs to ensure through regulation we are facilitating that,” he said.

“I think there is a strong argument for improving the role the government plays either directly or through government funded programs which is assisting consumers in those low income groups particularly in the financial crisis.”

Jones said that the early release of superannuation scheme was not well designed, targeted or administered.

“We think there are millions of Australians that will be worse off as a result of that. We 100% support access in a crisis… we think it’s devastating the average loss for workers in their mid-20s is $80,000 to $100,000 in retirement savings,” he said.

“We need to stay the course of increasing the superannuation guarantee to ensure we maintain a retirement income system that is fit for purpose. We will look at other propositions but we don’t want any that open up preservation arrangements which will just destroy retirement savings.”

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