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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