Superannuation & SMSF – Statement of Advice (SOA)

by David Buchanan, Director

The delivery of advice for superannuation and SMSF changed on 1 July 2016 when specific amendments to the FOFA (Future of Financial Advice) legislation came into effect. Prior to this time, accountants were permitted to provide advice in relation to superannuation matters under the ‘accountants exemption’, but now only financial professionals with an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence are eligible to do so.

To help you understand what this means for you, we have created this series of articles that address each of the key changes, explains what you need to do and outlines how DLA Partners and our new business venture DLA Private Wealth comply with the new rules whilst ensuring that our financial advisory services are focused squarely on you.

Who’s affected?

The 2016 changes to advice delivery apply to you if you have, or you wish to establish a superannuation fund including a SMSF, and you want DLA Partners to provide advice.  The matters that will commonly require advice include the establishment of a SMSF, when and how much to contribute to your superannuation; strategies for accessing your superannuation funds including pensions; and rolling over your superannuation balance to a different fund.

The new legislation specifies that any superannuation and SMSF advice you receive is strategic, comprehensive and appropriate to your requirements. This advice may only be provided by licensed financial professionals. Further, any advice you receive must be formally documented and reflect detailed analysis of your needs and goals.

Statement of Advice (SOA)

The formal documentation required is a ‘Statement Of Advice’ (SOA).  Its purpose is to define your overall superannuation/SMSF strategy. The overarching intention of the legislation is to protect you and your interests through this process of articulating needs and formalising recommendations.

Once it is in place, you can obtain ongoing advice about your superannuation and the other related financial matters outlined in the SOA efficiently, quickly and easily.

With the change to the contributions that happened on 1 July 2017 and the new reporting that comes into effect on 1 July 2018 for SMSFs paying pensions, it is important to act now to ensure you are compliant with the new rules.

Without the necessary documentation in place, the legislation will prevent us from providing the specific and personalised advice your need.

What’s new?

It is particularly important to understand that you will no longer be able to receive personalised and specific superannuation / SMSF advice over the phone or in any other informal way and unless a SOA is provided, we are only able to provide you with factual or general information that is not specific to you.

We urge you to begin the necessary steps now for implementing your SOA. This will allow the time necessary for attending to the legal requirements, but more importantly, for delivering the carefully considered and appropriate advice you have come to expect from DLA Partners.

All four directors of DLA Partners have completed RG146 accreditation in relation to SMSFs, providing the necessary formal qualification required by the new laws as well as maintaining a limited licence as a sub-authorised representative of GPS Wealth (Sub-authorised Rep Number 1242985).

DLA Private Wealth

DLA Private Wealth is licensed under GPS Wealth (Corporate Authorised Rep Number 001251934).  DLA Private Wealth is available to clients who value seamless integration of their business and personal financial planning, taxation and accounting matters.


Should you have any concerns about the changes to superannuation and SMSF and how the new advice delivery rules may affect you, please contact DLA Partners on (07) 3863 9444 or by emailing

General Advice Warning
The information provided is general advice only.  We have not considered your financial circumstances, needs or objectives and you should seek the assistance of your GPS Wealth Ltd adviser before you make any decision regarding any products mentioned in this communication.  Whilst all care has been taken in the preparation of this material, no warranty is given in respect of the information provided and accordingly neither GPS, nor its related entities, employees or agents shall be liable on any ground whatsoever with respect to decisions or actions taken as a result of you acting upon such information.