The SMSF Association has confirmed its full support for the Super Scheme Smart material launched by the Australian Tax Office (ATO). With 45 per cent of SMSF members aged 50 and over, the Super Scheme Smart material provides essential information and guidance for people approaching retirement to avoid risky or illegal retirement planning arrangements.
The Super Scheme Smart material warns SMSF trustees and their advisors about the risks of emerging retirement planning arrangements that aim to allow super fund members to avoid paying tax on their superannuation income which are illegal.
SMSF Association CEO John Maroney says: “We are highly supportive of the clarity that the ATO material provides on issues and risk areas that are causing concern for SMSF advisors and trustees alike. It outlines vital information and specific illegal retirement planning schemes to help people make the right decision on how to manage their superannuation and avoid these schemes.”
The material looks at case studies on schemes such as related party property ventures, life interests over commercial properties and deliberately exceeding non-concessional contribution caps to manipulate tax outcomes.
The paper also touches on the deliberate use of multiple SMSFs and the use of reserves to circumvent caps, which have been topical issues for SMSFs since the commencement of the Government’s superannuation reforms on 1 July 2017.
Maroney said: “We think this is an excellent initiative by the ATO to build education and awareness about risks regarding illegal retirement planning scheme. While we know the vast majority of SMSF members are trying to swim between the flags, it can be easy to be caught up in an illegal scheme without the right information or advice at hand”
“Education and awareness is always the first step in curbing the influence of illegal arrangements and we look forward to further clarity and updates from the ATO when issues arise in the future.”
It is encouraging to see an increasing number of industry wide initiatives like this that help protect SMSF members retirement savings and help them live a secure and dignified retirement.”
By John Maroney
21 November 2017