Industry super warns members off other advisers

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Members of $1.9 billion industry fund First Super have been warned not to take advice from financial advisers not aligned with the fund.

The fund's co-chairmen, Construction Forestry Mining & Energy Union national secretary Michael O'Connor and Timber Trade Industrial Association president Allan Stewart suggested to members – in the fund’s annual report – that bank-aligned financial planners do not put their interests first.

“One issue that most concerns us is the market presence of financial planners who advise people to invest in superannuation and retirement products that are more expensive – and potentially less beneficial – than ours.

“If you’re offered a session with a financial planner by your bank or other financial institution, be mindful of their possible motivations and payment structures,” they wrote.

Members were reminded they could talk to a First Super-aligned financial adviser for free.

But Financial Planning Association chief executive Mark Rantall says there is no justification for suggesting financial planners not aligned with the fund would not put clients’ interests first.

“The issue is clearly First Super have set up relationships with financial advisers who are aligned directly with the fund. For them to say other financial advisers would not give appropriate advice is not correct.

“Australian financial planners have a legal obligation to their clients to act in their best interests, and they do a fantastic job.”

Rantall encourages consumers to seek out the advice of financial planners who are FPA members, as they are qualified to the highest level and bound by the Code of Professional Practice.

First Super manages $1.9 billion in member funds for more than 72,000 members in the timber, pulp and paper, and furniture and joinery industries. Its balanced fund returned 13.59% over 2013.


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