One of ASIC’s priorities is ensuring consumers have trust and confidence in the financial system. An important part of building trust and confidence has been ASIC’s efforts to strengthen Australians’ financial capability. That is, assisting Australians at all stages of their lives with developing the skills and knowledge to make informed financial choices.
Since 2006, ASIC has supported the work of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Financial Services Consumer Centre to deliver tailored financial capability and well-being programs for its members (and their families) at every stage of their careers, including recruits, pre and post deployment, promotion and transition to retirement.
This relationship began when the ADF Financial Services Consumer Centre approached ASIC for advice on establishing a comprehensive independent financial education program for its military members. ASIC’s MoneySmart provided access to educational materials to meet the ADF’s unique circumstances, including the defined benefit superannuation schemes.
Over the years, ASIC and the Centre have collaborated on a number of programs: joint presentations to the ADF’s Indigenous Development Program in Darwin, a review of technical content in training videos and one-on-one educational consultations with ADF members at military bases, including Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane.
ASIC has also contributed to a monthly newsletter with articles about finances, allowing us to engage with the ADF’s members across the Navy, Army and Air Force. These articles have focused on a wide range of consumer issues, from reforms in superannuation to robo-advice, managed funds and investing. They have also featured the broad suite of ASIC’s MoneySmart calculators and resources, developed to help people take control of their money and support the financial decisions they make.
Most recently, on 20 September, ASIC’s Deputy Chairman Peter Kell and Northern Territory Regional Commissioner Duncan Poulson hosted a MoneySmart Bootcamp in Darwin for 150 Australian Air Force cadets and members of the Australian Army Indigenous Development Program. The cadets and Army personnel participated in a series of financial capability challenges focussing on day-to-day financial topics, including credit and debt. The challenges presented real-life scenarios to explain money management concepts and enhance understanding of the financial issues young people are likely to face. This included issues such as managing student loans, as well as, the impact poor financial decisions can have – such as by running up too much debt on a credit card or not insuring a car properly.
I am proud of the work that ASIC and the ADF have done to contribute to the financial capability of the ADF’s members to support their financial decisions now and into the future.
Australian Securities and Investments Commission