Financial Planning fees and charges
A note on fees and services
Legislation effective 1 January 2021 cancelled any adviser commission being paid from superannuation, investment and pension accounts. This change is in line with the industry Code of Ethics, which requires any adviser fees to be agreed to by a client under terms of “free, informed and prior consent”. Here’s what you need to know about financial planning fees and charges.
The first thing you’ll encounter is a ‘service agreement’ needs to be put in place for any fees and charges from your adviser. This agreement will set out any services and advice to be provided, along with the relevant fees.
There is an exemption for insurance policies, which can continue to pay a commission to an adviser, in much the same way that mortgages will often still pay a commission to a mortgage broker.
Do I have to be rich?
No, you do not need to be a millionaire to deal with us. Nor do you need to owe a huge amount of money.
Financial planners must meet a wide range of rules and laws when helping you, and this has forced a lot of advisers to only deal with wealthy people who can pay higher fees. Streamline aims to beat this blockage to financial help, and we do so by working with you to identify the precise areas you want help in.
We aim to bring the word ‘simple’ back into financial planning. Simple answers to simple questions, and in-depth answers to the more complex questions. Sometimes a simple question does not have a simple answer. If that’s the case, we’ll let you know. If your more complex question has a simple answer, we’ll let you know that, too.
Many financial planners around Australia have reacted to these changes by setting minimum account balances before they will provide help or advice. Some have high-cost packages of services that exclude people who are seeking straight-forward or irregular advice. While our services aren’t free, they are carefully tailored to cater for the wide range of needs Australians face in today’s world of money.
Streamline Financial Planning has attempted to navigate this change in the most flexible way possible, knowing that many clients are not used to paying fees directly. Many people have been used to all costs and charges being covered by commissions earned through their various accounts.
Streamline advisers will work with you to establish a service agreement that fits to your budget and expectations. We will not demand a minimum account balance and we will not require you to lock into long term contracts, unless that is what you specifically want and it is appropriate to the services involved.
Where do you go to for help?
Since the transition away from a commission-based fee, we have found that many people are happy to contact the relevant institution for their super, investment or pension accounts themselves. Others have approached us for help after becoming frustrated by long wait times and difficulty getting answers from customer service people. That’s understandable, because the law is quite specific – only qualified planners are not allowed to provide personal financial advice. Most customer service people are not licences to provide personal advice.
This change from commissions to fees (whether paid directly or through a relevant product or policy) is one of the largest changes in the industry in decades. We understand the difficulties it can cause. If you encounter frustrations in trying to access financial services and advice, call or email.
We will generally reply to emails and calls within 3 business days or sooner, if you have already established a client service agreement with us.
Want to know more? Visit our information page here.