In 2023, the SMSF Association is celebrating its 20th Anniversary.
We have dedicated 20 Years to our vision of enabling Australians to take greater control of their own financial well-being through a sustainable SMSF community
Our mission to lead the professionalism, integrity and sustainability of the SMSF sector continues to drive everything we do.
This year in particular, we are reflecting on some of the key milestones, achievements and moments in our history that have helped us get to where we are now.
The SMSF Professionals' Association of Australia (SPAA) was established 7 January 2003 and officially launched in Sydney on 28 April 2003.
The inaugural CEO was Andrea Slattery, with Peter Fry as the inaugural Chairman of the board.
Sir Anthony Mason was the Association's Patron.7 January 2003
150 Attendees joined the SMSF Professionals' Association of Australia (SPAA) for their inaugural National Conference.2003
For the first time, state chapters were established in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Western Australia.2004
Now the industry benchmark setting SMSF advisors apart from the rest, our SMSF Specialist Advisor (SSA) accreditation program was launched.2004
Following the success of our SSA designation, our SMSF Specialist Auditor (SSAud) accreditation program was launched and first exams held.2008
Having grown from its humble beginnings, our National Conference surpassed 1,000 attendees for the first time.2008
SPAA contributed to the Cooper review, lodging 3 comprehensive submissions in 8 months advocating for, among other things, the in-house asset and business real property exemptions and investment flexibility of SMSFs to be retained2010
A new registration scheme was made effective 31 January 2013 which required auditors to be registered with ASIC in order to conduct audits of SMSFs.2013
Research commissioned by Russell Investments in conjunction with SPAA released categorised SMSF investors for the first time as: ‘outsourcers’, ‘coach seekers’ and ‘delegators’.2013
Our advocacy efforts against the proposed introduction of a $500k lifetime limit on non-concessional contributions resulted in the Government agreeing to abandon the proposal in favour on an annual cap.2016
We achieved our largest ever National Conference attendance at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre in 2017, highlighting the value being provided to members.2017
The Reverend Tim Costello AO took over the honorary Patron role effective 6 September 2017.2017
Concessional TBAR reporting regime announced for SMSFs with the ATO adopting the SMSF Association's recommendation to relax the rules for SMSFs with balances under $1 million.2018
The 3 year audit proposal was released by the Government, and later overturned following analysis from the SMSF Association and others which showed the intended policy outcomes would not be achieved.2018
The SMSF Association formed an Alliance for a fairer retirement system and advocated against the ALP’s franking credit proposal – arguing strongly that it unfairly targeted retirees with SMSFs.2018
The SMSF Association challenged the Productivity Commission’s draft finding that SMSFs need a balance of at least $1 million to be considered cost effective. The Productivity Commission subsequently reduced the threshold to $500,000 and recommended that SMSF advice is underpinned by specialist education requirements, reflecting a long held policy position of the Association.2019
Fellow Membership was introduced to recognise Specialist Members for their significant commitment and contribution to both the Association and the SMSF sector.2020
The Association commissioned Rice Warner to update their 2013 research on the cost of running an SMSF. This updated research subsequently released in late 2020 showed SMSFs are cost effective at a balance of $200k or more, and are the most cost effective option for balances over $500k.2020
Our pre-budget submissions called for a 2 year amnesty for legacy pensions conversion, the removal of the active member test and modification of the central management & control test. These initiatives were subsequently taken by Government and announced in the 2021 Federal Budget.2021
The SMSF Association released research in conjunction with the University of Adelaide on understanding SMSF investment performance.
This showed SMSFs achieve critical mass at balances of $200,000. The research was based on data from over 50% of the entire SMSF population – the largest and most comprehensive research study ever undertaken on SMSF performance.
The Association subsequently wrote to ASIC requesting a review of their SMSF Advice guidance.
In late 2022, ASIC released updated SMSF Advice guidance. The ATO subsequently updated disclosures on using ATO SMSF performance data to compare the performance of the SMSF sector with the APRA fund sector.2022
The Joint Association Working Group (JAWG) was formed to convey a unified sector voice.2022
The SMSF Association partnered with both Kaplan Professional and Deakin University to further enhance education standards and professionalism in the SMSF sector.
The SMSF Regulations and Taxation unit, developed by the Association, was made available as an elective unit in the Kaplan Professional and Deakin University Master of Financial Planning degrees.2022