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Government tinkering a 'body blow' to SMSFs
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Market Update - 30th June 2012
Government tinkering a 'body blow' to SMSFs

For the government to now introduce further measures to meet its short-term spending priorities would be a body blow,” says SPAA's Andrea Slattery.

SMSF Professionals Association of Australia (SPAA) has warned against further changes to superannuation following media reports that the federal government was considering cutting tax breaks, particularly for self-managed super funds.


 The Weekend AFR revealed that the government is looking at changes to how SMSFs are taxed in order to bolster its budget surplus.

Specifically, the report alleges government is interested in taxing top-up strategies that allow older workers to add to their superannuation before retirement.


SPAA chief executive, Andrea Slattery, said it would be unthinkable for the government to alter the superannuation architecture once again.

“The industry has had to readjust to the recent changes in the budget, and for the government to now introduce further measures to meet its short-term spending priorities would be a body blow,” she explained.

Slattery believes the federal government is dipping into the $1.4-trillion superannuation savings to help balance its budget and to pay for new spending initiatives – an act she says cannot be justified.

“There is a real pattern emerging here. On the one hand, the government gets handed a report that talks about a $1-trillion shortfall in people’s retirement income as people live longer and, on the other, continually sees people’s superannuation savings as a short-term fiscal measure,” she said.


Slattery added that it is about time the “old chestnut” that SMSFs are unregulated is laid to rest.
“SMSFs are regulated by the Australian Taxation Office in terms of administration, their operation and their prudential regulation,” she said.

“Every fund is audited every year and, considering most funds have only one or two members, it typically means each member’s balance is audited annually.

“It’s also worth remembering that under the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA), we have a new registration regime for SMSF auditors.”

Further, Slattery points to the Cooper Review, which spent a significant amount of time looking at the SMSF sector and concluded that it was “well managed and well functioning”.

“It’s simply not right to say the sector has not been subject to the same level of scrutiny or review as the other superannuation sectors,” she said.

By:   Andrew Starke
10th September 2012
Source:  Professional Planner