As a former Canberra Press Gallery journalist, I can vouch for the fact that for political players, there’s nothing more exciting than the smell of blood in the water. 

That’s what’s happening right now, just when our law and policy makers need to be calm. The massive distraction of the Government’s many and varied gender problems is wreaking havoc on the psyche of our policymakers and lawmakers, and on the legislative timetable. The two are linked. The media, Opposition and the crossbench is hunting a weakened Government, and the latter will be emboldened to tack their pet amendments onto anything that needs their support in the Senate.

These troubles could affect the introduction of the most contentious of the recent financial services bills – Your Future Your Super. The Bill, which largely we support, except for some real problems with performance benchmarks and commencement timeframes, is before a Senate Committee for examination, and we have still not sighted the Regulations. Even if the Bill squeaks through, the gap of time between when it passes into law and industry implementation on 1 July is narrowing fast. We are strongly considering pressing for a delay to the start date if this occurs.

Meanwhile the past 18 months of hard and detailed work on the coming Design and Distribution Obligation (DDO) regime by your FSC team, led by Michael Potter, is gaining industry traction. We have been fielding a steady stream of inquiries from non-FSC members to license our target market determination (TMD) templates and acquire our free data standards. Alignment and standardisation of templates and data standards will lessen the cost and complexity for businesses that issue or distribute financial products in the market, which is exactly why we started this project so long ago. See here for more details on how to access the FSC’s DDO templates and data standards.

Also, another piece of solid FSC work is coming to fruition – our Green Paper on Advice. Blake and Zach are in Canberra this week to educate MPs, Senators and policymakers on our new bold plan and solutions that we believe will fix the patient on life support – financial advice. Stay tuned.

If you still haven’t registered for the Life Insurance Summit on 21 April, in Sydney and in-person (or virtual if you prefer) please do so now here. We are looking forward to seeing colleagues get in a room to analyse and solve the enormous issues facing the sector – then enjoying dinner together at the end of the day.


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