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Almost a third of the financial
might of Australia s
superannuation funds is
Given the maze of government
regulation and ever-changing laws,
what surprises tax and financial
planning expert Andrea Slattery
is the lack of regulation of who
can and can t give advice to this
That s why Ms Slattery -- now
chief executive of Self Managed
Super Funds Professionals
Association of Australia (SPAA) -- is
lobbying for a "new profession"
specialising in the area.
"Because there is no formal
requirement to be a licensed
SMSF advisor, there has been a
dramatic expansion in the number
of people -- both professionals and
non-professionals -- providing
advice and recommending SMSFs
to clients," she said.
"This means any person may
claim to be an SMSF advisor,
irrespective of whether they have
had any formal training in the field.
"As such, there have been strong
calls from industry participants for
a body to self-regulate the area."
Andrea Slattery is a high
achiever and hard worker and it s
easy to see how she will be a thorn
in the side of governments that
resist her plans for change.
It s hard to argue with the num-
bers and scenarios she presents.
"This is the fastest growing
sector in superannuation," she told
"Australia has more than
$1.2 trillion in super funds. It is an
enormous national asset and no
doubt one of the reasons we were
able to maintain capital investment
during the global crisis.
are very tight in controlling the
activities of retail and industry
super funds which account for
two-thirds of the $1.2 trillion.
"But self-managed funds, which
now total $385 billion, are in a differ-
ent regime of regulation."
The typical profile of people who
self-manage is no longer confined to
Market volatility has seen a rise
in people who want to have control
of their asset.
"People didn t like the loss of
control they felt during the global
meltdown when they saw the value
of their super funds getting belted,"
Ms Slattery said.
"Those who have several hundred
thousand dollars in super are now
looking for other options.
"That growing market now
should be serviced by a new
profession where advisors have the
regulated expertise and skills to
make sure customers get the best
outcome for their investments."
Enter SPAA and its push for
accreditation and regulation.
SPAA has developed an
Accreditation Program which it
claims will "ensure high standards
of integrity and professionalism
are achieved and maintained by
professionals specialising in the
provision of services to the SMSF
"This is the first program in
Australia to offer independent
verification and certification
of a professional s competency,
independence, experience and
knowledge," Ms Slattery points out.
SPAA s Specialist Accreditation
Program includes the SMSF
Specialist Advisor and SMSF
Specialist Auditor Programs.
Eligible SPAA members can
choose to do one or both of the
programs. After successfully
completing the program require-
ments the SPAA Member will be
awarded the specialist designation
and become a SPAA Specialist
But these accreditations aren t
easy to get.
Applicants need a minimum 2
years experience providing advice
and/or services to the SMSF sector
and SMSF related work activities
must account for a minimum of 20
per cent of their total workload.
SPAA chief executive
Andrea Slattery is
opening new doors for
Photo: Kate Elmes
Continued Page 12
People didn t like
the loss of control
they felt during the
global meltdown when
they saw the value
of their super funds
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