FAQs: Non-ongoing fee consents
This is Information Sheet 280 (INFO 280). It answers frequently asked questions (FAQs) for financial product advice providers who need to get a superannuation fund member’s consent to charge non-ongoing fees to their superannuation account.
Superannuation trustees must have a member’s written consent or a copy of the consent before they deduct non-ongoing fees from the member’s account.
In these FAQs we assume that the advice provider will arrange for the consent to be signed by the member and will provide the signed consent to the superannuation trustee.
You will need to get a member’s written consent to deduct fees or costs under a non-ongoing fee arrangement from the member’s superannuation account. This is because superannuation trustees must have a member’s written consent or a copy of the consent before they deduct non-ongoing fees from the member’s account.
The written consent must meet the requirements in the ASIC Superannuation (Consent to Pass on Costs of Providing Advice) Instrument 2021/126.
If an advice provider’s details change after a member has provided written consent (e.g. following the sale of an advice business), this does not cause the written consent to become invalid, provided the arrangement remains the same in all other respects. Likewise, a member’s written consent does not become invalid if their name changes after the member has provided written consent (e.g. because the member has legally changed their name upon getting married).
ASIC considers that as part of any change in financial product advice provider, a member should be notified of the change by both the existing advice provider and the new provider. The relevant communications should be clear, concise and effective, and remind the member that they may withdraw their consent at any time before the cost is passed on to their superannuation account by contacting the fund.
The written consent from a fund member must contain, as a minimum, the following required information:
- the name of the member, and the name and contact details of the advice provider, at the time the member signs, or otherwise agrees in writing (e.g. electronically) to the terms of, the written consent
- the name and contact details of the superannuation fund
- an explanation of why the member’s consent is being sought
- how long the consent will last
- information about the services that the member will be entitled to receive under the arrangement
- a statement to the effect that the member can withdraw their written consent at any time before the cost is passed on to the member (by contacting the fund), and
- a date indicating when the consent was given by the member.
The written consent must also set out the costs that will be deducted from the member’s account and details of the superannuation account(s) that the costs will be deducted from.
If the cost is to be passed on to the member by deducting fees from the member’s superannuation account(s), the written consent must include:
- a statement to this effect, and
- information about the superannuation account(s) and the amount of fees to be deducted or, if the amount cannot be determined, a reasonable estimate of the amount and an explanation of the method used to work out the estimate.
Sometimes the cost is to be passed on to the member other than by deducting fees from their account(s) (e.g. by increased insurance premiums). In this case, the written consent must include:
- an explanation of how the cost will be passed on, and
- information about the superannuation account(s) and the amount of the cost or, if the amount cannot be determined, a reasonable estimate of the amount and an explanation of the method used to work out the estimate.
The written consent must be worded and presented in a clear, concise and effective manner.
For an example of a written consent that meets the requirements in ASIC Superannuation (Consent to Pass on Costs of Providing Advice) Instrument 2021/126, see Attachment to INFO 280: Example written consent form (non-ongoing fees) (PDF 178KB).
3. If I provide a member's written consent to their superannuation fund, or a copy of the consent, does the fund need to deduct the fee?
A superannuation trustee is not required to deduct a fee under a non-ongoing fee arrangement from a member’s superannuation account if provided with the member’s written consent, or a copy of the consent.
This is because superannuation trustees have a discretion whether to deduct the non-ongoing fee under their existing obligations. As a minimum, superannuation trustees can only deduct advice fees (other than fees for intra-fund advice) from a member’s superannuation account if the following conditions are satisfied:
- the fee or cost is in accordance with an arrangement that the member has entered into
- the fee or cost relates to superannuation or insurance obtained through superannuation
- the member has consented in writing to being charged the fee, and
- the trustee has the written consent or a copy of it, and the written consent meets the requirements in ASIC Superannuation (Consent to Pass on Costs of Providing Advice) Instrument 2021/126.
Yes. The written consent may be provided to the member with other information. For example, an advice provider may meet the requirement to provide information about services by attaching an extract from the relevant Statement of Advice to the consent form.
You may also use one document to deal with a member’s written consent to deduct non-ongoing fees from multiple superannuation accounts. The document must state the amounts to be deducted from each superannuation account, include details of the superannuation accounts and the member must separately consent to the amount for deduction from each account.
Yes. You can seek written consent electronically (e.g. via email or on a secure webpage).
The member can also sign the written consent electronically.
The member can provide electronic consent in different ways. For example, the member could tick a box on a webpage in response to a statement like: ‘By ticking the box, you consent to $XX being deducted from your superannuation account.’
Yes. The written consent must include the date on which the consent was given by the member. This could be done by adding the date on the consent or time stamping the consent.
For more information, see:
- Attachment to INFO 280: Example written consent form (non-ongoing fees) (PDF 178KB)
- 30 June 2021 – ASIC and APRA letter to trustees on oversight of advice fee deductions from member accounts (PDF 217KB)
- 10 April 2019 – ASIC and APRA letter to trustees on oversight of advice fee deductions from member accounts (PDF 78KB)
- ASIC Superannuation (Consent to Pass on Costs of Providing Advice) Instrument 2021/126
- ASIC Corporations (Consent to Deductions—Ongoing Fee Arrangements) Instrument 2021/124
- ASIC Corporations and Superannuation (Amendment) Instrument 2023/512
- Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response No. 2) Act 2021
- RG 175 Licensing: Financial product advisers—Conduct and disclosure
- INFO 256 FAQs: Ongoing fee arrangements.
You can also contact ASIC online or call 1300 300 630.
Please note that this information sheet is a summary giving you basic information about a particular topic. It does not cover the whole of the relevant law regarding that topic, and it is not a substitute for professional advice. Omission of any matter on this information sheet will not relieve a company or its officers from any penalty incurred by failing to comply with the statutory obligations of the Corporations Act.
You should also note that because this information sheet avoids legal language wherever possible, it might include some generalisations about the application of the law. Some provisions of the law referred to have exceptions or important qualifications. In most cases, your particular circumstances must be taken into account when determining how the law applies to you.
Information sheets provide concise guidance on a specific process or compliance issue or an overview of detailed guidance.
This information sheet was issued in June 2023. It replaces and updates the web page on ‘FAQs: Non-ongoing fee consents’ previously published on ASIC’s website.