Aon selling KiwiSaver through RFAs
Aon has developed a unique way of promoting its KiwiSaver scheme, giving Registered Financial Advisers a disclaimer that allows them to inform clients about the scheme without advising on it.
Tuesday, March 27th 2012, 6:00AM 19 Comments
by Niko Kloeten
Good Returns has obtained a copy of the disclaimer, which asks clients to acknowledge that the RFA they spoke to only provided them with "a copy of the AonSaver KiwiSaver Investment Statement and/or factual information about the scheme".
Clients are also asked to confirm their adviser "did not take your particular situation or goals into account when providing you with any recommendations or opinions in relation to joining the Aon KiwiSaver scheme."
This is because under the Financial Advisers Act, RFAs can provide "information" on category one investment products such as KiwiSaver but they can't provide personalised "advice".
Aon's disclaimer also recommends clients seek professional advice from an Authorised Financial Adviser (AFA) which takes into account their personal circumstances before making an investment decision.
In conjunction with the disclaimer, Aon has provided guidelines for RFAs including step two: "Establish from client if they are in KiwiSaver and if they know that Aon has a KiwiSaver Scheme".
Step three says: "Offer to provide information on the AonSaver KiwiSaver Scheme and give the client a copy of:
a. The AonSaver Investment Statement;
b. The KiwiSaver in a Nutshell brochure;
c. Morningstar performances - Independent from Aon; and
d. Any other authorised marketing material available at the time."
Advisers are also told to "Only provide recommendations or opinions in relation to the AonSaver KiwiSaver Scheme based on your own preference for the Scheme, i.e. why it is your preferred KiwiSaver Scheme."
Amanda Beeslaar, sales manager for AonSaver, said the disclaimer had received a positive response from RFAs.
"RFAs appreciate the ability to provide information on KiwiSaver to their clients without giving advice. The Disclaimer ensures the clients are aware of the restrictions on RFAs and that they are unable to provide "personalised advice"."
She said the wordings for the disclaimer and guidelines were developed after "extensive discussions" with Aon's legal advisers (law firm Chapman Tripp).
"Advice is not personalised merely because a client comes within a class of persons having pre-defined characteristics and the RFA takes the fact that the client comes within that class into account.
"So long as the advice is not personalised in respect of the particular client, and that is made clear to the client, our legal advice was that an independent RFA can provide non-personalised "class" financial advice under the FAA."
Niko Kloeten can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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