If you are on this blog, you are probably aware that being RG146 accredited in superannuation (either being able to provide personal and/or general advice) is a pre-requisite to working in most job roles in superannuation within the financial services industry.   The course needs to be ASIC approved (which Monarch’s course is), but that  is probably not news to you.

What many people aren’t aware of is the sheer volume of changes that occur within superannuation each year. There are often hundreds of small changes, but often also some big changes too. Whether you are a new student or you work in the industry right now, how do you keep abreast of all theses hundreds of changes?

Let’s first start with people working in a job within the superannuation space right now. Generally speaking, your employer will send out a monthly or quarterly ‘technical memo outlining actual changes and proposed changes in superannuation legislation (and applicable super strategy implications) that you can read in work time. I (e.g…..the writer of this blog) worked for one of the top 4 banks and that is how I was kept abreast of the changes. It worked well, and this combined with continuing professional development (CPD) days that the bank held once a quarter allowed me to stay up-to-date on all technical and strategy matters for  the 4 enjoyable years I worked at the bank. I’ve also worked at a  mid-tier financial planning firm for 6 years (…I’m giving away my age here), and in that instance my employer subscribed to a research house that compiled the technical information for our firm. In that instance we received a monthly email bulletin which allowed me to stay on the ball. Of course my mid-size company paid for this service – it’s obviously not available to people or firms not willing to pay the subscription fee. Which leads to the next category of person wanting to remain technically up-to-date with super changes, … the person who might have finished a course a few years ago, but has yet to find a job in the financial services industry (or particularly a superannuation specific role). “The first thing you need to be clear on is that hopefully the education provider at the time, that the person chose to study RG146 superannuation with, should have had an up-to-date course. This means the course MUST have been regularly reviewed and updated. And I’m not talking about a quick review that takes 1 day. I’m talking about a comprehensive review that involves peer group review by financial planners that are implementing and devising superannuation strategies each and every day – practitioners that walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk. To be upfront, we have heard some disturbing student stories who have transferred from other education providers mid-course whereby ‘other’ course material is out of date by literally years! We don’t operate by naming names, we believe that to be unprofessional. However,  we would always suggest that any prospective student clearly ask their education provider at the time of enrolling (and preferably get it confirmed in writing) when the last comprehensive review of their course materials was undertaken.

You can imagine that if we are writing about this topic, we are pretty passionate about offering our students the most up-to-date, and practical course materials going around. So how can we be so confident about this? It’s pretty simple – we have financial planners on staff who still successfully continue to work in the industry. They provide superannuation strategy advice to clients day in day out. It is their eyes on our course material that we value, and the student feedback has always been that our course materials are well structured, easy to follow and very practical as a consequence.  And if you are a Monarch ex-student who is worried about changes that occurred in superannuation since you completed our course, we are in the process of talking to Macquarie Bank to get a copy of their “pocket guide to superannuation” that is continually updated that we could send our ex-students. Watch this space, or if you are ultra impatient, try calling Macquarie adviser services and be sure to be very polite over the phone and ask for a copy of their ‘technical pocket super guide’. They might be kind enough (…no guarantees) to send you a copy in the mail, despite the fact you are not practising as a financial planner. Not yet that is! Good luck.