How to reclaim trail commissions

Do you have investments, superannuation accounts and/or insurance policies sitting around? If you’ve had them for years then it’s quite possible that some company somewhere is receiving an ongoing (trail) commission from that product, and you possibly don’t know who they are.

If you’ve had no contact from them then they are just receiving the commission rather than earning it. Would you like to reclaim that money and put it towards your own wealth creation?

Here are the steps I suggest that you take to reclaim lost trail commissions. They are in a specific sequence:

  1. Contact the product provider and find out the contact details of the adviser appointed to your account/policy. Also ask the level of upfront and ongoing commission they receive at the moment. This is likely to be a percentage figure. You will find the contact details of your product provider on your latest statement.
  2. Contact the appointed adviser and ask them to define the level of service that you are eligible to receive in return for the income they have earned from the commissions. Plus the service you will continue to receive if they remain the appointed adviser. (Here, I strongly suggest you call with a tone of genuine enquiry rather than an adversarial tone.)
  3. If you are not satisfied with the existing adviser find a fee for service financial adviser who will either rebate the commissions or offset them against their quoted fees. You can use the Financial Planning Association’s Find A Planner service. Or contact me as that is precisely how I operate.
  4. If you are a die-hard do it yourself wealth creator who doesn’t even seek fee for service expert assistance then you may be interested to know that there are now a few discount brokers who will rebate most of the commission to you. You appoint them as the adviser to the policy and they send you a cheque. You can find out about two such discount brokers in this article published yesterday in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Update: I have compiled a public list of commission refund services. Follow the list using your Google account and you’ll be automatically advised whenever I come across a new provider.

If you do choose to use a discount broker and receive a rebate cheque then be sure to use it to boost your wealth creation by reinvesting it.

Author: Matt Hern

Certified Financial Planner professional, Matt Hern has three times been awarded as one of Australia's Top 50 Financial Planners by The Australian Financial Review Smart Investor. He is passionate about guiding you on the right financial choices to achieve what you really want. Matt Hern is an Authorised Representative of Charter Financial Planning Limited AFSL 234665. All information is general advice only.