Sunsuper overhauls intra-fund advice fees

Just as Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s recommendations shine a spotlight on intra-fund advice and fee payments from super accounts, Sunsuper has announced that it will introduce financial advice fee caps to try and keep advice affordable, sustainable, and in its members’ best interests.

The caps would limit initial fees to the lower of $4,400 or 2.2 per cent of the member’s balance, inclusive of GST, and would only be payable once every three years. The cap for ongoing fees would be stopped at the lower of $6,600 or 1.1 per cent of the balance per annum, and would be payable monthly for a maximum of two years.

Sunsuper head of advice and retirement, Anne Fuchs, said that both advisers and clients valued the flexibility of charging and paying for advice fees directly through the members’ super accounts.

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“As a profit-for-members fund, we believe these new advice fee caps are consistent with our duty to act in our members’ best interests,” she said. “We believe these caps strike a balance between preventing members’ balances being eroded by ongoing fees while at the same time allowing financial advisers to deduct fees for the quality advice they provide.

“Sunsuper’s experience is that seeking financial advice is a prudent investment and … we know that members who receive financial advice make better, more informed choices and are substantially better off in retirement.”

Fuchs said the new fees had been welcomed by the majority of financial advisers Sunsuper worked with.

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