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FASEA extension passes

The extension to the FASEA education requirements has passed.

The Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology Senator Jane Hume tweeted that her promise of an extension for financial advisers had been kept.

Advisers will now have until 1 January 2022, an additional year, to pass the FASEA exam.

They will get an additional two years to meet FASEA's qualification requirements, with the new deadline for advisers to meet the education standards 1 January 2026.

The legislation to allow financial advisers the extension was contained in an omnibus bill which hit a snag last week when it was bounced out of the Senate and back to the House of Representatives after Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick sought an amendment.

The amendment Patrick sought deals with a loophole that allows some large corporations on an 'exempted companies' list to not file financial records with ASIC.

He argued an amendment to the omnibus bill was necessary so that these companies were not allowed to engage in aggressive tax minimisation.

Earlier this week, Patrick said he would not back down on the amendment.

If the FASEA extension had not passed, advisers would have had to complete the FASEA exam by the end of this year to remain practicing. Only about half the advisers on the ASIC Financial Adviser Register have sat the exam so far.

The Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers Association chief executive Judith Fox welcomed the news.

"Brokers and advisers have been put through the wringer, with the bill having been stymied multiple times by unrelated amendments from Labor and crossbench Senators being attached to it that were not supported by the government," Fox said.

"At a time when retail brokers and investment advisers were experiencing a huge increase in workload dealing with client enquiries during the current market turmoil, which made study and exam sitting particularly difficult the constant threats to the extension being achieved this year added significant pressure."

Financial Planning Association of Australia chief executive Dante De Gori also welcomed the passing of the extensions, thanking Senator Hume for responding to the industry's concerns.

FASEA itself also welcomed the new certainty around the exam and education extension.

"FASEA welcomes the certainty the extension of timeframes provides to existing advisers seeking to pass the Exam and meet the higher education standards. FASEA notes the strong performance of nearly 8,000 advisers who have sat the exam and received results to date, with a majority of 86% successfully passing", FASEA chief executive Stephen Glenfield said.

Read more: FASEASenator Jane Hume
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