09.Where to go for advice
Financial planners deserve to be paid for the advice they provide but you have to decide how you want them to be paid, and whether you want to pay for independent advice or advice which may be affected by conflicts of interest. A planner who receives commissions, rather than a fixed fee is representing the super fund as well as advising you. Some advisers offer many versions of retail funds and give you no other fund options.
Retail super funds include a fee that’s effectively a trailing commission paid to your planner for ongoing advice, for as long as you’re in the fund. If you join a retail fund make sure you get your money’s worth and avail yourself of this ongoing advice.
TIP: your existing super fund may provide a financial planning service for a cost-effective price but be sure they can provide advice on all types of super funds and not just products relating to your existing fund.
For more information about super choice and pointers on how to select a financial planner, use the following sources:
- Call 132 864 to download a copy of the Commonwealth Government's Super Choices booklet.
- For questions about early release of super, if your employer isn’t forwarding contributions to your fund, or if you believe your fund is being mismanaged, contact the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) or call 1300 131 060.
- For missing or incorrect Super Guarantee contributions, lost accounts, tax rules and self-managed super funds, contact the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or call 13 10 20.
- If you have a complaint and can’t resolve it with your fund, the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal may be able to help or call 1300 884 114.
- Contact the National Information Centre on Retirement Investments (NICRI) for free super information or call 1800 020 110.
- For online fact sheets and super calculators, visit the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia’s website or call 1800 812 798. For a range of information to help you understand your super, visit ASIC’s consumer website or SelectingSuper.
- The Australian Investors’ Association is an independent, non-profit association for individual investors. Call 1300 555 061 or visit the AIA website for details of their free 3-month trial subscription.