Key issues for SMSFs

Christine St Anne  |  02/02/2015Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  

Christine St Anne: Today I am joined by SMSF Professionals' Association of Australia's Andrea Slattery to talk to us about the big issues for 2015. Andrea, lovely to see you again.
 
Andrea Slattery: Thank you very much for having me here Christine today. It's a pleasure.

St Anne: Firstly Andrea we had the Financial Systems Inquiry this year, any issues that trustees need to be aware of.

Slattery: Well Christine it's been very interesting because the Financial Systems Inquiry actually brought down its major report just recently. And the SMSF trustees should take comfort that this is the third major review in Australia that’s actually given a positive outcome towards the SMSF sector. So as SMSF trustees, I believe that they should be very, very pleased with the fact that there was very little in the Financial Services Inquiry that actually related specifically to the SMSF sector. It means that the review found that the SMSF sector wasn’t one that actually needed to have a lot of tinkering or to have lot of legislative changes made to it.

So from an SMSF trustee point of view moving forward, one of the main issues that came out of it, was an investigation into non-concessional contributions, which are contributions made by Australians in their after-tax dollars. And that’s where they put money away and they save it. So that’s one of the areas that the FSI actually said that they would like to have a look at.

St Anne: And what other issues should trustees be aware of?

Slattery: Well, we at the Self-Managed Super Fund Professionals' Association are very, very keen to help the government and to continue to work with the Financial Services Inquiry and understand that the measurement of super tax concessions need to be revisited. So another major objective to come out of the – major recommendation to come out of the review was that the FSI recommitted to having a major objective of superannuation being for retirement incomes for Australians.

Now that was one of the major messages that we put forward as well. If that is recommitted to, than there needs to genuinely be an understanding by the regulators and legislators and the government on the actual cost to the system of the tax concessions and of super itself. And we believe that with a look at that, that things like the non-concessional contribution issue and the tax changes that were recommended will not actually be required. Because we need Australians in the future to be adequately able to retire with a dignified retirement and they need to be able to have an adequate amount to do that and so that non-concessional is very important not to be fiddled with.

St Anne: And what about SuperStream what issues should trustees need to look at?

Slattery: With SuperStream the SMSF trustees have been very good there is more than 60 per cent that have actually registered with SuperStream. What they need to do is they need to either register online through the ATO or with one of the other providers or go to their accountant and actually register through there or one of the administration service providers. Once they have that registration than they are able to meet the SuperStream requirements. It is something that is very small but it is actually a very practical thing to be able to do. The FSI has actually got another final submission which is due on the 31st of March and you must look at doing the SuperStream quite quickly. So there are a couple of important dates for trustees.

St Anne: Finally Andrea as an association what are the key priorities for you this year.

Slattery: Well some of the priorities we've got and there is a tax white paper which will actually be looking at the tax concession and the non-concessional issue that I just spoke about. We've also got the intergenerational report and federation report which actually also interact – interact with the tax white paper review and we’ve got Financial Systems Inquiry. So what we are hoping to do is to spend a lot of time with the appropriate people to help them understand that we need to have surety and clarity and we need to have – we need it simple for people to be able to save and retire and so we need to have a focus on the consumer and so most of all where it will be working towards helping trustees understand their roles and responsibilities helping the government and the regulators and the legislative designers understand that they need to build a future that lasts for 40 years in this particular retirement area.

St Anne: Andrea thanks again for your time.

Slattery: Thank you very much Christine, its pleasure

Video Archive...

Helping SMSF trustees negotiate super complexities
19/08/2016  Peter Hogan, head of technical at the SMSF Association, shares his insights on the changing super environment and how it will affect SMSF trustees.
Safe withdrawal rates for retirees
02/02/2016  Morningstar's Anthony Serhan explains why retirees in Australia should use lower initial safe withdrawal rates than those suggested in prior research.
Pitfalls of investing for retirement
30/09/2015  Bad behaviour before and in retirement can take a major hit to your savings. We outline the pitfalls to avoid if you want to maximise your pension pot.
4 retiree to-dos in a turbulent market
02/09/2015  Despite the market swings, retirees can control stuff like checking cash reserves and spending levels.
3 key risks for retirees
24/06/2015  Accurium SMSF technical services manager Melanie Dunn discusses three factors trustees should be aware of as they move from the accumulation to the retirement phase.
Top global tech opportunities
30/04/2015  Australia's foremost global investor Kerr Neilson identifies global drivers and those undervalued companies that are positioned for strong growth.
Key takeaways from the Murray inquiry, SuperStream
23/04/2015  The SMSF Association's Graeme Colley discusses important points from both the Murray inquiry and the SuperStream initiative, while also giving trustees tips on how to avoid unwanted "gardening leave".
Revisiting the sole purpose test
19/03/2015  It’s important that trustees are reminded about their obligations under the sole purpose test – a key requirement in SMSF compliance.
Trustees under the spotlight
--  SMSF Association’s Andrea Slattery talks about the growing professionalism of the industry and what it means for trustees.
Taxing times for trustees?
05/03/2015  The government may have moved to address the tax concessions into super but trustees face a number of potential taxing issues.
Key issues for SMSFs
02/02/2015  A government inquiry and tax concessions are among the key issues confronting trustees.
Top SMSF tips for 2015
21/01/2015  Keeping up-to-date on legislative changes, avoiding excess contributions and ensuring sufficient cash flow is in place are just some of the simple things trustees can do to get a better handle on their SMSF.
7 reasons why SMSFs outperform
22/07/2014  The key advantages to running a self-managed superannuation funds have also translated into strong performance.
What the advice reforms mean for SMSFs
09/07/2014  SPAA’s Graeme Colley outlines what SMSF trustees need to do to ensure the advice they are getting complies with the government’s proposed reforms.
A tax date with your SMSF
02/06/2014  SPAA's Graeme Colley outlines a number of important dates for tax payers as the 30 June deadline looms.
Keeping your SMSF simple
21/05/2014  Oasis Wealth's Barbara Smith offers some thoughts on the property market and some simple advice on how not to get into trouble with the ATO.
Getting SMSF ready for SuperStream
03/04/2014  SMSF members who accept employer contributions will need to prepare for the government’s new measure called SuperStream.
Is your SMSF audit ready?
27/03/2014  SMSF trustees face new audit requirements from the Australian Taxation Office
Key rulings for SMSFs
20/03/2014  AMP's Peter Burgess outlines key legislative considerations for trustees
Do trustees know best?
17/03/2014  --
Getting ready for contribution cap rises
13/03/2014  The indexation of the contribution caps will give people the opportunity to put more into superannuation.
3 key legislative changes for SMSF trustees
07/02/2014  Trustees need to grapple with a number of legislative changes made by the ATO.
5 new year resolutions
23/01/2014  Westpac's David Simon outlines five key new year resolutions that will maximise portfolio performance.
Getting value from your property portfolio
21/01/2014  Property expert Margaret Lomas outlines effective strategies for maximising a property portfolio and managing these assets in retirement.
What can SMSF trustees expect in 2014?
17/12/2013  A new government inquiry into financial services will be among the key issues trustees will have to grapple with in 2014.
Do SMSFs need a minimum balance?
30/10/2013  Should minimum balances be set for SMSFs in order for them to be run effectively?
Understanding new SMSF guidelines
20/09/2013  BT Financial Group’s Bryan Ashenden explains the proposed guidelines for advisers operating in the SMSF market and the implications for trustees.
What the Coalition means for super
13/09/2013  The new government will cut back on concessions for low-income earners and will most likely re-think excess contributions for SMSFs.
Key changes to super caps
25/07/2013  The latest changes to concessional superannuation caps may mean a change of strategy for trustees.
What the budget means for SMSFs
15/05/2013  While there were little in surprises in this week’s budget, there are a number of issues trustees still need to consider.
What to do with falling super contribution caps
--  With the government limiting how much you can contribute to super, a number of other wealth creation strategies are available.
SMSFs - the pros and cons
26/03/2012  Westpac’s David Simon outlines the benefits of SMSFS as well as the traps to avoid.
Cooper, super and SMSFs
--  Understanding the Cooper review's proposed changes to our super and SMSFs.
The changing role of fixed interest
21/09/2010  An inevitable rise in global bond yields may expose investors to negative returns - unless they prepare now.
Super's good, bad and the ugly
23/09/2010  We're not doing ourselves any favours by clinging to a lump-sum mentality when it comes to super.
Planning your DIY super in 2012
23/01/2012  Having the right plan is critical if trustees are to navigate the big changes to concessional caps this year.
Time to get out of cash?
01/09/2011  SMSFs have boosted their cash allocations but is it time to diversify into other asset classes?
All you need to know about SMSFs
31/03/2011  Grant Abbott discusses what attendees can expect at the upcoming Morningstar SMSF Trustee Strategy Day.
Death's effect on SMSF borrowings
06/10/2010  The death of an SMSF member has significant consequences when a gearing strategy is in place.
Lump sums have merit too
28/09/2010  Considering an income stream in retirement? Don't ignore lump sums.
Property acquisitions using gearing
22/09/2010  A look at some of the finer points about using limited recourse loans to purchase property within super funds.
5 ways SMSFs may become non-complying
13/09/2010  Becoming non-complying is one of the worst things that can happen to your fund. So avoid it.
Extra pay needs extra planning
31/05/2010  Extra pay, windfalls and bonuses are great but good planning can make it better.
Art for SMSFs' sake
31/08/2010  Artwork and collectables back on the table for SMSF investors.
Emerging trends in SMSFs
04/08/2010  SPAA chair Sharyn Long shares her knowledge of what SMSFs are up to at the moment.
Tax tips for SMSFs in FY10/11
19/07/2010  SPAA chair Sharyn Long shares her knowledge of what SMSFs are up to at the moment.
Getting SMSF taxes ready
--  We’ve put a line under FY09/10 but how do we best prepare our taxes for the year.
Putting that extra into super
--  Andrew Proebstl, chief executive of legalsuper tells us how the fund encouraged record voluntary contributions from members
Super no shelter for fraud
--  --
Do SMSFs seek advice?
--  SMSF members like control but do they eschew advice?
Super changes and SMSFs
--  Super has been tinkered with yet again but what are the implications for SMSFs?
Beware capital gains tax on SMSF rollovers
--  Certain activities in running a self managed super fund can trigger capital gains tax liabilities.
Avoid horrific penalties
--  The ATO is focused on excess contributions in SMSFs.
Insurance gets built-in for longer living
--  Lifetime income guarantee funds make sure your money won’t run out.
ETFs for easy diversification: pioneer
--  ETF pioneer Jim Ross of State Street Global Advisers explains why these products are gaining popularity.
Hefty tax for exceeding caps
--  What to do if you exceed the superannuation contribution caps.
Actuaries measure risks of ageing
--  The actuaries’ role in determining risks and helping governments formulate economic policy.
Penalties for your SMSF's poor report
--  SPAA chair Sharyn Long talks about the auditor contravention report and how SMSF trustees can best deal with them.
Ensuring your auditor is qualified
--  SPAA accredited auditors have now become approved auditors under the SIS Act.
Making the nest egg last the distance
--  --
Keep your super in the family
--  Is your SMSF for the whole family? Grant Abbott discusses if you should have insurance or other products included.
Penalties for your SMSF’s poor report
--  SPAA chair Sharyn Long talks about the auditor contravention report and how SMSF trustees can best deal with them.
New TPD insurance regulations
--  --
SMSF Reserves
--  --
Will your SMSF pass these tests?
--  How Australian is your SMSF? Dire consequences await those funds that fail to meet requirements.
SMSFs and gearing
--  SMSF expert Grant Abbott talks to Darin Tyson-Chan some of the basic facts surrounding the use of borrowing in an SMSF.
Binding death benefit nominations
--  SMSF Strategies principal Grant Abbott discusses the merits of having a binding death benefit nomination within an SMSF with Darin Tyson-Chan.
The SMSF in-house asset rule
--  Darin Tyson-Chan speaks to SMSF Strategies principal Grant Abbott about the amended in-house assets rule for SMSFs
Divorce and your SMSF - what you need to know
--  Breaking up is hard to do, especially without a contingency plan in your SMSF for divorce.
Trustee responsibility (pt 1)
--  Trustees often trip over the law with SMSFs, lawyer Peter Townsend warns in the first of this two-part interview.
Trustee responsibility (pt 2)
--  The second part of this SMSF discussion provides tips for trustees
Not too late for super tweaks
--  Tax time is over but tax planning around super need not be. Clearview's Dante De Gori explains
Maximum earnings and super contributions
--  Salary sacrificing? Understanding the 10 per cent maximum earnings rule is a must.
Could ETFs benefit your super?
--  What you need to know about Exchange Traded Funds and retirement savings
SMSFs and gearing
--  Administrative considerations with Andrew Biviano and Darin Tyson-Chan
Trustee Education
--  Liz Westover gives her recommended changes to superannuation trustee skill and knowledge.