Document Provider Outlines Traps With Auto-Reversionary Pensions

Where advisers and their clients want the binding death benefit nomination to override a reversionary pension, they may want to avoid having an auto-reversionary pension, says an SMSF document provider.

ACIS SMSF services director Peter Johnson said there has been some commentary lately around trust deeds containing clauses that cause reversionary pensions to override binding death benefit nominations and some of the issues that can arise with this.

“Whilst we agree with the sentiment, if a reversionary pension is auto-reversionary, then the BDBN would be over a zero balance,” Mr Johnson explained.

“If it wasn’t, then the pension clearly wasn’t auto-reversionary. It would simply be a new death benefit pension. This has transfer balance cap consequences because you would not have the 12-month grace period.”

Mr Johnson said if advisers want the BDBN to override a reversionary pension, then they should avoid implementing an auto-reversionary pension.

He also stressed the importance of SMSF trust deeds incorporating provisions that cater for the majority of common procedural matters.

While there may be some specific provisions that need to be applied for minimum pension payments requirements, for example, a well-designed SMSF deed, he said, “should include provisions that cover most of the situations in which advisers and trustees find themselves”.


By Miranda Brownlee

SMSF Adviser

4 July 2019

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