Alternative General Advice Proposition for Risk Specialists


A licensee firm is offering an alternative ‘general advice’ career option for specialist risk advisers.

Positioned to appeal to those advisers who have decided for various reasons to depart the industry or sell their books of business due to incoming minimum education requirements, this model is being offered by Tasmanian-based firm, Life Plan FP.

Life Plan FP Director, Mark Dorling, says there are many reasons that advisers may choose not to meet the new minimum education requirements, which include specialist risk writers approaching retirement age with no real desire to commence studying and passing up to eight additional degree subjects.

…a general advice option could be the way forward for some

Life Plan FP Director, Mark Dorling …offering an alternative pathway for risk specialist advisers

Within this group of specialist risk advisers, Dorling says a general advice option could be the way forward for some of them.

Dorling points out that the Directors at Life Plan FP have been involved in life insurance product distribution under a general advice model since 2009: He says this model would suit advisers of any age, irrespective of whether they are holders of RG146, Diploma or Advanced Diploma of Financial Services qualifications.

“We can offer a career option for advisers if they have books of business and love helping their clients, but don’t want to be “pushed out” of the industry because of increased education standards,” he says.

In noting this proposition relates to general advice services for life insurance products only, Dorling says the Life Plan FP team has the skills and capacity to be able to deliver a general advice model around retail individual life insurance products:

“This specific ‘no advice’ model allows advisers to still serve this sector and to know exactly which client interactions and advice services are appropriate and allowable – and which are not,” says Dorling, who points out that under regulatory guidelines, the term ‘General Advice’ is very clearly explained, including how it must be delivered.

Our firm is seeking to engage with specialist risk writers not wanting to leave the financial services industry just yet…

“Our firm is seeking to engage with specialist risk writers not wanting to leave the financial services industry just yet, but who have decided not to meet the new minimum education requirements by 1 January 2026.”

Headquartered in Tasmania, but with existing advisers spread across Australia, Life Plan FP describes itself as an independently-owned, non-institutionally-aligned dealer group with an open approved product list.

This alternative career option for risk specialist advisers differs from the model we reported last week, in which the specialist risk adviser ceases to be an authorised representative and acts in his or her capacity as a consultant, working with authorised advisers to serve their clients (see: ‘Plan B’ Offer for Risk Specialists). Under the Life Plan FP model, the adviser maintains his/her status as an authorised representative, providing general advice only.


  1. This assumes that everyone co-operates. If the client doesn’t co-operate and interprets the risk specialist’s statements as advice and then complains I very much doubt that the regulator or the dispute resolution people will accept that the risk specialist only gave general advice.

    Some heroic assumptions here.

    • It’s early days yet, isn’t it? Still, it is an alternative to quitting the business completely and allows risk specialists to continue earning an income for now. As it is, there seems to be no future for those who choose not to do FASEA.

      Apart from that, general advice means not having to shoulder the burden of compliance, ASIC Levy, AFA membership, TPB membership and CE. Carrying those things alone requires having to drive a B-double truck, whereas only yesterday you could get by with a ute!

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