About 60% of Australia's SMSFs consider themselves to be unadvised, instead receiving their education around incoming super reforms from news and social media platforms.
This is a key finding of new research from the SMSF Association and Commonwealth Bank slated for release in April, exploring SMSF trustee expectations and the provision of advice.
"These people are relying on public information ahead of the implementation of quite weighty reforms, so it provides an opportunity for advisers to think about how they can get the relevant information to these SMSFs with unmet needs," The SMSF Academy managing director Aaron Dunn said.
Previewing the insights at the 2017 SMSF Association's National Conference in Melbourne, Dunn also revealed the perception in the eyes of SMSF trustees surveyed is they cannot rely on the information they're given as it often conflicts with other information available to them.
This highlights the need for advisers to make sure they can deliver this information in a meaningful way that is easy to understand, thereby nurturing confidence and trust in the advice sector.
"It's hard enough for us to interpret how things like the transfer balance cap works in proportional indexation, so how the hell are our clients supposed to understand how many of those things work as well?" Dunn asked delegates.
The study also shows that, amongst retired trustees, those that are advised are more likely to feel they've fully achieved their retirement goals. This is despite those not yet retired showing little difference in their view as to whether they're on track to meet those goals or not.
"This tells us that advice makes a difference to actual outcomes. While that shouldn't come as a surprise, we need to make sure that we have the capability to get to those when we refer back to that 60% with unmet needs," Dunn explained.
The wariness to trust the advice trustees are receiving is again highlighted in the research. About 40% of survey participants who do seek advice actually consult with more than one adviser - and the most common reason for this being the ability to compare the advice provided.
"This is another huge opportunity. Not only are people probably in need of advice before June 30, but the second biggest driver here is the desire for specialist advice and that's what you do," Dunn told delegates.
"So, are you ready? That's the million-dollar question. Right now, is the opportunity for you to sit down and assess where you are so you can get to where you want to be by June 30."