Reporter: David Richardson
"This is easy money that working families could be accessing every single year." Says Kelly
"That's $593 in my pocket, not theirs." Agrees Kath
"How much are we talking about generally?" asks David
"The first year was just over $1,000." Replies Mark
It's easy money most people never knew they had. Trailing commissions which cost people year after year but its money you can get back
"There are trailing commissions to be collected across every single product. Superannuation, home loans, investments, any sort of product there is money there to collect." Says Sally
Sally Farrow from Your Share is a trailing commission hunter.
For a fixed fee her company will track down every cent you're eligible to reclaim
"We're talking about an average family getting around 17-hundred dollars back a year from financial products they already have." Says Sally
In five years "Your share" has recovered more than 1-million dollars for clients but there are millions of others are still missing out
A trailing commission is a fee charged by financial advisors, brokers, companies, even banks year after year for getting you into a particular financial product
"I think we all believed the banks and the financial institutions weren't really taking us for a ride. But looks like they are, they were, but now there's a way to get it back which is really simple." Says Sally
"Our first cheque was just under $600. So we've had that for the last two years." Says Kath
Small businesswoman Kath Long went looking for hidden commissions on five of her products insurances, Compulsory Third Party or CTP, and superannuation for her and her husband she was astounded how much she could get back
"I'm just really surprised that it has been happening for however long these products have existed. Basically customers have been losing out because they didn't know it was there." Says Kath
"Quite surprised particularly when I went directly to one of the larger companies without going through an intermediary of any kind, a broker, or agent. then to see trailing commissions on the statement." Says Mark
Mark Cooper also used Your Share to hunt down commissions on his financial products
"I sent off the form. I didn't have to do anything after that. That was it. 20 minutes each year and the cheques keep coming in." says Mark
And here's where money can be found on your mortgage home and contents insurance, car insurance and CTP even superannuation for someone single starting out you can get back $775 the typical Australian family can save a bit more than $17-hundred dollars
A person on the verge of retirement can reclaim more than $3-thousand 800 while a self funded retiree could receive more than 4,200-dollars
"We have an example of a customer who receives $10,000 back a year." Says Sally
On mortgages alone finding trailing commissions can net you money every year
On a 200-thousand dollar home loan you can get back $400 on the average loan of $350,000 a $700 saving for half a million dollar mortgage $1,000 goes in commissions
"I think it is a dirty little secret that is starting to be uncovered. People are starting to become aware of these hidden surcharges, these hidden commissions and getting frustrated." Says Ingrid
Choice has for years been pushing for these trailing commissions to be scrapped
"Some figures show that almost 20% of premiums that we pay across these products are commissions." Says Ingrid
Finally someone has listened
'The days of easy money for the big end of town will soon be over. The federal government has moved to end trailing commissions for big banks. Insurance companies, superannuation firms, financial advisors and planners even mortgage brokers. In the future consumers will pay a flat fee for service. But these new changes don't help everyone. They'll only come in the middle of next year. And the only people to benefit will be new customers buying new financial products."
"I guess the message to consumers is to wait until 2012 before you sign up to anything because they'll be no commissions on many of these products under the new rules but negotiate with your financial institution for products without commissions." Says Ingrid
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
YourShare is one of a number of broking companies who charge a flat fee to recover trailing commissions.
www.YourShare.com.au or call 1300-554-774
YourShare charges 50% of total commissions found up to $580. Then a flat fee of $295 applies for every amount above that.
Another company that tracks down trailing commissions is
Trailing commissions on mortgages can only be recovered by re-financing your loan. BUT it can be refinanced with exactly the same bank or institution.
The new Federal Government rules on trailing commissions begin in July, 2012.
Your share is offering a $500 additional cash back for every new customer who watched today tonight. So if they do a mortgage trailing commission search they will receive their commission back + $500