SMSF thrown into spotlight

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First published 12/09/2012

An industry group has warned that the Labor Government may be considering cutting tax breaks for SMSFs in order to pay for its policies on education and disability.

SMSF Professionals Association of Australia (SPAA) cites a Financial Services Council report which claims Australia faces an estimated $1tr retirement shortfall due to the increasing longevity of its population.

Meanwhile, the Australian Financial Review has reported that the Government is considering tinkering with superannuation in order to fund new spending initiatives.

SPAA chief Andrea Slattery said the developments point to an ongoing trend.

“There is a real pattern emerging here,” she said. “On the one hand the Government gets handed a report that talks about a $1tr 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.”

Under current SMSF rules, any income accrued through investments made through a self-managed super fund, including property investments, is taxed at a minimum rate of 15%.

Flattery said that further adjustments to SMSF legislation would be hard to take.

“It would be unthinkable for this 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 said.

An official statement by government said it is making good progress in creating a simpler and fairer superannuation system.

The estimated $1tr retirement shortfall figure, it said, demonstrated that government action to increase the Superannuation Guarantee to 12% has significantly reduced Australia's retirement savings shortfall.


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  • Property Mavens says on 14/09/2012 11:17:00 AM

    This is a typical example of the Labour Government being unable to manage the financial affairs of the nation. Governments repeatedly tell voters to take responsibility for their retirement and yet the Labour government continues to steal from the superannuation pot every chance they get, for every stupid or unfunded idea that they have. The Rudd government reduced the MDC levels by a whopping 50% to compensate for the $1000 gift they gave after the GFC and to ensure they end up with a surplus in 2013. When are the Labour government going to figure out that the country, industry and retirees benefit when people invest for their super, rather than the constant reduction and progressive elimination of incentives that encourage them to do so. Do they really want everyone to get to the point where they decide they may as well use the money now, as there is no financial incentive to store it away for the future ?

  • Muriel White says on 15/09/2012 09:28:57 AM

    How can people plan when the Government keep changing the rules? My husband and I have worked hard all our lives and we opened a SMSF as we will not be eligible for the aged pension. If they start taxing it I think we will pull out and just live off our money till it runs out. The Government needs to look after self funded retirees as they save them a bucket!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Frank Miller says on 18/09/2012 09:34:02 AM

    I'm considering buying an investment property through my SMSF but am not sure where to turn for advice... Should I talk to an accountant first? A broker? A real estate agent? Anyone have any suggestions?

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