A recent West Australian case (Ioppolo & Hesford V Conti 2013 WASC 389 has highlighted the importance of having a valid SMSF estate plan to ensure benefits held in an SMSF go to the intended beneficiaries.
I cannot recall setting up an SMSF in the last couple of years without a corporate trustee. However, historically many SMSFs have been established with individuals as trustees. While this is allowable under the SMSF rules, the majority of superannuation professionals would agree that a corporate trustee is the most preferred trustee for an SMSF.
As part of the Government’s goal to improve the efficiency of the superannuation system and the timeliness of processing rollovers and contributions, the way in which SMSFs can receive rollovers and contributions will change from 1 July 2014. A new standard is being introduced which basically requires all contributions and rollovers to be paid electronically, along with a standard format electronic message which must be sent to the receiving super fund. This is referred to as the ‘new standard’.
On Friday 5 April 2013 the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, the Hon Bill Shorten MP, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, the Hon Wayne Swan MP, announced the Government’s proposed changes to the superannuation laws. The Government have aimed the changes at creating what they believe will be a more equitable and sustainable retirement income system.
There are a number of regulatory changes that apply from today (7 August 2012) that may impact your SMSF. These changes are in regards to insurance, investment strategies, keeping investments separate and in the correct name and valuation of assets. The following is a simplified explanation of these changes and how they impact you as trustees of your SMSF.
As part of the required investment strategy of a SMSF, insurance must now be considered.
Most SMSF trustees know that when they start drawing a pension from their fund everything becomes tax free right? Wrong. Like all things super and tax related it is never that easy. In this article we will review the circumstances where an actuarial certificate is required.
What is an actuarial certificate?
An actuarial certificate determines the percentage of income that will be exempt from tax for a SMSF for a given year. The certificate needs to be prepared by an appropriately qualified actuary, with the average cost of the annual certificate at $220 where the SMSF has account-based pensions (more for life time complying pensions). The actuary needs to be provided with a significant amount of information to calculate the applicable percentage – including details of every single pension payment and every contribution made to the SMSF during the year. The percentage generated by the actuarial certificate is multiplied by the taxable income of the fund (excluding contributions) to generate an amount which is claimed as a deduction –