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Advice fee request FAQs

These FAQs are related to the Super Savings product offering as related to the Australian Retirement Trust Adviser Registration Terms and Conditions.

Members can request that an advice fee (Initial/One-Off and/or Monthly) is paid to their financial adviser for superannuation advice services that meet the sole purpose test requirements of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993.

This is available for members who receive personal advice from financial advisers that are registered with Australian Retirement Trust.

Payment of an advice fee from a member’s account is at Australian Retirement Trust’s discretion. These FAQs set out some of the principles where Australian Retirement Trust may exercise the discretion to pay an advice fee from a member’s account.

Payment of advice fees is subject to the Adviser Registration Terms and Conditions - which only permits for payment of an advice fee when the member holds an account in the Super Savings product offering.

Contents

Available advice fee types and definitions

The following advice fees are available:

Initial/One-off advice fees

Advice fee type

Definition

Initial advice fee

  • A lump sum advice fee that is paid for the provision and implementation of new personal advice (for example, via a Statement of Advice)

Lump sum fixed term advice fee

  • A lump sum advice fee that is paid under the terms of a fixed term arrangement, that is, a fee for service for a period of less than 12 months.

Review advice fee

  • A lump sum advice fee for the review of a client’s circumstances (based on previous personal advice) and implementation of any changes, where the client is not engaged under an ongoing fee arrangement or a fixed term arrangement.


Monthly advice fees

Advice fee type

Definition

Ongoing advice fee

  • A monthly advice fee that is paid under the terms of an ongoing fee arrangement, that is, a fee for service for a period of more than 12 months.

Fixed term advice fee

  • A monthly advice fee that is paid under the terms of a fixed term arrangement, that is, a fee for service for a period of less than 12 months.


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How advice fees are paid

How does Australian Retirement Trust pay an advice fee?

The Australian Retirement Trust pays the advice fee agreed by a member, as set out in an Advice fee request, by debiting the GST inclusive amount from the member’s account.

How do I submit an Advice fee request?

Australian Retirement Trust require all advice fee requests to be generated and submitted within Adviser Online.

Who receives the payment?

Advice fees are paid to the Fee Recipient, which is the financial adviser’s AFS Licensee (the entity which holds the AFSL, hereafter referred to as the 'AFS Licensee'). Australian Retirement Trust will provide the AFS Licensee with a Recipient Created Tax Invoice (RCTI) for the GST inclusive amount of the advice fee. 

If the AFS Licensee does not hold an ABN, at Australian Retirement Trust’s discretion the advice fee may be paid to a related entity (i.e. a Trust owned by the AFS Licensee) if Australian Retirement Trust has been adequately directed by the AFS Licensee.

When are advice fees paid?

Advice fees for financial advisers are paid to the AFS Licensee on the 16th of the month, or as soon as possible thereafter (with advice fees being paid from a member’s account on the 15th of the month, or as soon as possible thereafter).

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Advice fee caps

Advice fee caps are applied across the total of all advice fees paid from a member’s account/s; separate caps do not apply for different types of advice fees.

Maximum fee caps

  • Members can authorise an advice fee up to 2.5% p.a. of their Super Savings account balance, capped at $8,800 p.a. (including GST).
  • This cap will be applied for a rolling 12 month period and is applied to the sum of all advice fees paid associated with:
    • Preparation of advice
    • Implementation of advice
    • Services fees (fixed term or ongoing services agreements)
    • Annual reviews; and
    • Ad hoc advice.
  • Where there is a new advice relationship between the member and financial adviser, an extra $1,500 (including GST) advice fee is available to contribute to the cost of initial advice. This advice fee is only applicable in the first year where the new advice relationship is entered.
    • Note: a new advice relationship applies where the member has not received advice from an adviser within the same advice practice previously.

Year 1 Maximum of 2.5% p.a., capped at $8,800 + $1,500
Year 2 Maximum of 2.5% p.a., capped at $8,800
Year 3 Maximum of 2.5% p.a., capped at $8,800

Minimum balance requirements

  • A member must hold a current Super Savings account balance, across all accounts, of $25,000 or more at the time the advice fee request is generated and/or processed.
  • A member’s individual account balance cannot drop below $6,000 after any fee payment.

Monthly advice fees

  • The monthly advice fee cap is calculated in the following manner:
    • Monthly fee value x 12 instalments to provide a p.a. percentage which cannot exceed 2.5% p.a. (incl. GST) of the member’s current balance at the time of submission, which is inclusive of any fees paid within the last 12 months.
    • The advice fee cap is applied in this manner regardless of the duration outlined on the Advice fee request form.

Please note: There are no exceptions to any of the above listed advice fee caps.

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Sole Purpose Test and apportionment of advice fees

Advice fees are required to be apportioned between advice services that can and cannot be paid in accordance with the Sole Purpose Test (guidance provided below). The amount of the advice fee for which payment is claimed from Australian Retirement Trust must be reasonable and the financial adviser must be able to support the apportionment if Australian Retirement Trust request further information.

What advice services can be paid for through a member’s Australian Retirement Trust account?

The advice services provided must have a direct, reasonable, and transparent connection to the member’s interest in the Australian Retirement Trust.

The Trustee of Australian Retirement Trust has agreed that the following advice strategies fall within the Sole Purpose Test:

  • Australian Retirement Trust contributions (including as a result of cash flow analysis to determine ability to contribute);
  • Australian Retirement Trust investment strategy;
  • Super consolidation to Australian Retirement Trust;
  • Australian Retirement Trust transition to retirement;
  • Australian Retirement Trust pension account establishment and income payments;
  • Retirement planning as it relates to Australian Retirement Trust accounts;
  • Recommendation to rollout from Australian Retirement Trust;
  • Estate planning to the extent of beneficiary nomination (death benefit nomination or reversionary pension nomination) within Australian Retirement Trust accumulation and pension accounts;
  • Centrelink planning in relation to Australian Retirement Trust accounts;
  • Insurance held within Australian Retirement Trust; and
  • Current and future fund benefits as they relate to disability or terminal illness claims and the resultant future income needs of the member.

This is not an exhaustive list, but rather provides guidance around Australian Retirement Trust's obligations under the sole purpose test.

What advice services must be charged externally from a member’s Australian Retirement Trust account?

Where advice services do not have a direct, reasonable, and transparent connection to the member's interest in Australian Retirement Trust (for example, any product or financial advice that is not related to the member’s Australian Retirement Trust Superannuation Fund account), these advice services must be charged externally of the member's Australian Retirement Trust account (i.e. by invoice or from the other product provider).

The following advice strategies must not be charged to a member's Australian Retirement Trust account:

  • Withdrawing funds from the member/s account for a non-superannuation purpose (pre-retirement);
  • Wealth creation;
  • Gearing;
  • Investment strategies outside super;
  • External insurance advice, paid for by the Australian Retirement Trust member via personal cashflow or rollover from Australian Retirement Trust.
  • Estate planning (except nomination of beneficiary within Australian Retirement Trust);
  • Cash flow management applied to budgeting, debt management and other forms of non-super savings;
  • Super contributions to a Fund that is not Australian Retirement Trust;
  • Choice of fund for any Superannuation Fund that is not the member’s Australian Retirement Trust Superannuation account;
  • Debt management;
  • Self-Managed Super Funds;
  • Salary packaging (except salary sacrifice to Australian Retirement Trust); and
  • Transactional assistance where a personal advice document is not provided.

This is not an exhaustive list, but rather provides guidance around Australian Retirement Trust’s obligations under the sole purpose test.

Do I need to apportion the advice fee between dependant spouses?

Where a member and their dependent spouse (who are both members of Australian Retirement Trust) receive advice within the same advice document (and this advice meets Australian Retirement Trust’s Sole Purpose Test obligations) the cost of the advice may be charged solely to one member. However, the advice fee charged must still adhere to Australian Retirement Trust’s advice fee caps as they apply to that individual member.

As the Australian Retirement Trust is held by one Trustee, the Trustee is comfortable that apportioning the advice fee in this manner still meets their Sole Purpose Test obligations and also maintains their Member’s Best Interest duty under the SIS Act (the collective best interest of all members of the fund).

Do I need to apportion the advice fee between a member's different Australian Retirement Trust products and/or accounts?

As Australian Retirement Trust is held by one Trustee, the Trustee is comfortable that apportioning the advice fee to one of the member’s Australian Retirement Trust accounts (individual member number) or products (accumulation, corporate or pension product) still meets their Sole Purpose Test obligations and also maintains their Member’s Best Interest duty under the SIS Act (the collective best interest of all members of the fund).

Do I need to apportion the advice fee between a member's account in Australian Retirement Trust and one or more external funds?

If a member holds superannuation in both Australian Retirement Trust and an additional fund external to Australian Retirement Trust and advice is provided about both these funds, the fees charged will need to be apportioned between these various funds, ensuring that only advice relating to Australian Retirement Trust is paid from the fund.

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Conditions and rules of advice fee payments

Accounts and products that are ineligible for advice fee deductions

Defined Benefit or Defined Benefit Pension Products

Advice fees cannot be paid where a member’s account includes a Defined Benefit or Defined Benefit Pension product.

MySuper Product

Australian Retirement Trust do not permit the payment of a Monthly advice fee or a fee associated with an ongoing fee arrangement from our MySuper product.

The MySuper product available to members who have an account in the Super Savings product offering is the ‘Lifecycle investment strategy’. This means if the member has any portion of their portfolio invested in the Lifecycle investment strategy, Australian Retirement Trust will be unable to process the payment of a monthly advice fee or a fee associated with an ongoing advice fee arrangement.

General rules

An Advice fee request applies only to the member identified in the form. Where a new Advice fee request is submitted for any member and is accepted by Australian Retirement Trust, any Advice fee request previously submitted for that member is superseded and replaced.

If payment of an advice fee would result in a members’ account balance falling below $6,000, advice fees will continue to be paid if the member holds another account in the Super Savings product offering with sufficient balance

Australian Retirement Trust will not process and as a result, will terminate an advice fee where the payment of the advice fee will reduce the member’s total account balance in any one account below $6,000.

The following conditions need to be met immediately prior to the payment of any advice fee:

  • The Advice fee requested must not exceed the caps noted within this document and/or published on the Australian Retirement Trust website, and as amended from time to time.
  • All required details in the Advice fee request form are completed (including the member consenting to the fee being paid from their Super Savings account).
  • The financial adviser is registered with Australian Retirement Trust.
  • The financial adviser holds a valid third party authority for the relevant member.
  • Australian Retirement Trust has a completed AFS Licensee Agreement in place with the financial adviser’s AFS Licensee.
  • The financial adviser is listed as an active financial adviser on ASIC’s financial adviser register, and is a current authorised representative in respect of the AFS Licensee specified on the Advice fee request form.
  • Personal advice with a relevant advice document has been provided to the Australian Retirement Trust member prior to submitting the Advice fee request.
  • The principal/servicing adviser listed on the Advice fee request form must be the same as the servicing adviser listed on the Statement of Advice provided to the member.
  • Australian Retirement Trust has confirmed the validity of any details provided that are verifiable from Australian Retirement Trust’s records and ASIC records.
  • Australian Retirement Trust may require further details to confirm correct apportionment of the fee for the advice services provided. We will notify the financial adviser for more information if this is the case.
  • Australian Retirement Trust may request, and be provided a copy of the member's advice documents in relation to the advice fee request at any time. For clarity, this may be prior to payment, throughout the course of payment (i.e. monthly advice fee) or after the payment of an advice fee.

Advice fees and deceased members

Australian Retirement Trust views the death of a member during the duration of an advice fee agreement as a cessation of that agreement. Australian Retirement Trust then will terminate any advice fees following the notification of the death of a member. Where a monthly advice fee is paid following the death of a member, or a one-off/lump sum service advice fee is paid for a period beyond the date of death, a portion of the advice fee may need to be refunded, representing the services not received.

Consent and dating requirements

Advice fee request form (with Initial/One-off advice fee only)


Signing date requirements Submission date requirements
n/a Adviser must submit the Advice fee request form within 90 days of the member signing the form.


Advice fee request form (with Monthly fixed term advice fee)

Signing date requirements Submission date requirements
Member must sign the form within 90 days of the start date listed on the Advice fee request form. Adviser must submit the Advice fee request form within 90 days of the member signing the form.


Advice fee request form (with Monthly ongoing advice fee)

Signing date requirements Submission date requirements
Member must sign the form within 30 days of the start date listed on the Advice fee request form. Adviser must submit the Advice fee request form within 90 days of the member signing the form.
Where the duration outlined on Advice fee request form is not 12 months (365 days), the consent provided under the Advice fee request will revert to Fixed term in nature and the option to utilise the Ongoing advice fee renewal form at the anniversary date will become void.


Ongoing advice fee renewal form

Signing date requirements Submission date requirements
Member must sign the form no later than 120 days beginning on the anniversary date (based off the anniversary date the adviser has listed on the Ongoing advice fee renewal form) Adviser must submit the form no later than 150 days beginning on the anniversary date (based off the anniversary date the adviser has listed on the Ongoing advice fee renewal form)


Monthly advice fee arrangements

Australian Retirement Trust’s Advice fee request form includes both a monthly advice fee start and paid until date.

  • The monthly advice fee start date cannot be more than 30 days prior/post the date you generate the Advice fee request form.
  • The term of agreement entered into on our Advice fee request form cannot be more than 365 days; however
    • When selecting an Ongoing advice fee arrangement, a member may renew their consent within the required period (i.e within 120 days beginning on the anniversary date) to continue the fee arrangement.
  • Australian Retirement Trust may make a catch up payment (in a lump sum) for missed payments as per the terms of the services agreement between the adviser and the member.
  • When charging a monthly advice fee, the financial adviser must detail the services being provided to the member as outlined in the Services Agreement, on our Advice Fee Request form.

Important Information - Ongoing advice fee arrangements

  • Ongoing monthly advice fees will stop being paid at the anniversary date.
  • If Australian Retirement Trust receives an Ongoing advice fee renewal form, that has been signed within the required period after the anniversary date, Australian Retirement Trust will backpay (in one lump sum payment) any payments for that period in the next available monthly pay run.
  • If Australian Retirement Trust do not receive an Ongoing advice fee renewal form, nothing further will be required from either the financial adviser or the member as the advice fee payments will have ceased at the anniversary date.
  • If the ongoing advice fee isn’t renewed within the renewal period, and the member wishes to recommence their ongoing advice fee arrangement, then a new arrangement (new Advice fee request form) will be required.

Australian Retirement Trust advice fee discretion

Australian Retirement Trust reserves the right to decline payment of an advice fee, including discontinuing further payments of Monthly advice fees for any reason and without giving any reason. Australian Retirement Trust also reserves the right to obtain a refund of advice fees deducted from a member account where the advice does not meet Australian Retirement Trust’s Advice Fee Policy or Sole Purpose Test obligations.

Personal advice vs general advice

Australian Retirement Trust does not permit the payment of advice fees for general advice. It is the legal obligation of the financial adviser and their AFS Licensee to ensure personal advice services have been provided for the advice fee charged.

Australian Retirement Trust advice fee reviews

Australian Retirement Trust conducts periodic reviews of advice fee requests. From time to time, we will require copies of advice documents (i.e. Statement of Advice) and/or other advice related documents (i.e. Ongoing Service Agreements, Client Service Agreements, Fee Disclosure Statements) for review. These reviews may be conducted prior to, during or after payment of the advice fee.

Australian Retirement Trust review the requested advice documents to ensure that where an advice fee is charged to an Australian Retirement Trust member’s account, it adheres to Australian Retirement Trust’s Sole Purpose Test obligations and Advice Fee Policy. 

In the event Australian Retirement Trust is not provided a copy of the requested advice document/s, in a timely manner, Australian Retirement Trust may be required to cancel the advice fee and/or request a refund of any advice fee payments that have been made.

Refer to “Advice Fee Policy” in the Adviser Registration Terms and Conditions for more information.

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Other information

Do you offer Tax Reimbursements on advice fee payments?

We do not currently reimburse any tax when an advice fee is paid from a member account held in the Super Savings product offering, including Reduced Input Tax Credits.

What do I do if I change of AFS Licensee?

Australian Retirement Trust will pay advice fees (Initial/One-Off and/or Monthly) to the AFS Licensee named on the Advice fee request forms, until we become aware that the financial adviser has changed AFS Licensee.

On becoming aware that the financial adviser has changed AFS Licensee, Australian Retirement Trust will not pay any further amounts until we also receive notice from the appropriate AFS Licensee that the member is still receiving advice services.

Australian Retirement Trust must receive this notice in a written document (in the form required by Australian Retirement Trust) signed by the AFS Licensee confirming the variation of AFS Licensee (Fee Recipient).

Refer to "Suspension or cancellation of the Services" in the Adviser Registration Terms and Conditions for more information.

For further information regarding Client Transfers visit our Client Transfer FAQs.

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Further questions

If you have further advice fee enquiries that are not answered by the above FAQ's, please contact us at Advice_Governance@australianretirementtrust.com.au.

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