SMSF ASSOCIATION
NATIONAL CONFERENCE
2023

Melbourne
22-24
FEBruary

EARLY BIRD WILL BEE OVER BEFORE YOU KNOW IT…

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

Program

Held over two and a half days, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), experience technical sessions, worth up to 44 CPD hours, presented by key industry experts, all included as part of your registration!

Note: The National Conference 2023 Program is subject to change. The program listed below is current, as of 21 November 2023.

Day 1 - Wednesday 22 february

7:00am
EXHIBITION HALL OPEN
8:00 - 10:00am
Thought Leadership Breakfast presented by Class

Tim Steele, CEO, Class

Dr Irene Guiamatsia, Head of Research, Investment Trends

Meg Heffron, Managing Director, Heffron Consulting Pty Ltd

Peter Burgess, Deputy CEO / Director of Policy & Education, SMSF Association

With total SMSF assets now exceeding $860 billion, and the number of SMSF surpassing 600,000 for the first time in 2022, just how big can the SMSF sector be? Join us for breakfast as Class CEO Tim Steele, Heffron Managing Director, Meg Heffron, SMSF Association Deputy CEO, Peter Burgess and more discuss and debate:

  • Is there a natural ceiling for the size of the SMSF sector?
  • How might the SMSF growth drivers change in the future?
  • What are the macro and geopolitical factors holding back the sector and what are the environmental factors driving the sector forward?
  • What are the sector’s vulnerabilities and can they be overcome?
  • What are the true measures of the health of the SMSF sector?

This thought leadership breakfast is a must for practice owners and SMSF industry participants wanting to stay abreast of the latest industry trends, developments, challenges and opportunities.

Specialist-only session
SMSFs and member capacity: how to best protect and serve your clients (and yourself)

Bryce Figot, Special Counsel, DBA Lawyers

Session details available soon.

10:00 - 10:30am
Morning tea
10:30 - 10:35am
Welcome
10:35 - 10:55am
Chair, CEO & Special Addresses

Speakers: Scott Hay-Bartlem, Chair, SMSF Association and John Maroney, CEO, SMSF Association

10:55 - 11:50am
plenary 1
What lies BEE-yond the horizon

Peter Burgess, Deputy CEO / Director of Policy & Education, SMSF Association

Session details available soon.

12:00 - 1:00pm
legs & regs 1a
The Deed – The Queen BEE of an SMSF

Clinton Jackson, Partner, Cooper Grace Ward

Steven Jell, Senior Associate, Cooper Grace Ward

While the superannuation law sets out the compliance rules for an SMSF, the trust deed is the ‘bee’ all and end all for a particular SMSF and the key document from which a trustee derives its powers.

The content of a SMSF trust deed is critically important and can greatly impact a client’s SMSF experience, especially given the additional scrutiny from regulators and the increasing number of SMSF related disputes. Now more than ever it is important to make sure your client’s SMSF trust deed is up to date and the best it can be.

This session will look at:

  • The must haves to be included in any SMSF trust deed
  • Tips for what to look out for and things to avoid; and
  • Traps for advisers in dealing with trust deeds.
Strategy 1b
Keeping the colony strong – Not everyone BEE-longs in an SMSF

Graeme Colley, Executive Manager Technical & Private Wealth, SuperConcepts

When the buzzing in the hive gets to fever pitch it may be time for unhappy members to swarm and make a new one. When it comes to SMSFs the ‘hive’ can be impacted by marriage breakdowns, blended families, children as members and untenable relationships within the fund. This session will examine the complex maze that challenges the success of some SMSFs as relationships ebb and flow over the life of the fund.

Advice, Practice & Regulatory 1c
The policy buzz

Tracey Scotchbrook, Policy Manager, SMSF Association

In this session, SMSF Association Policy Manager, Tracey Scotchbrook will discuss the Association’s policy and advocacy work over the past 12 months and the key policy issues for the SMSF sector over the next 12 months. This will include an exploration of the SMSF Associations key policy priorities and discussion on the future challenges for the SMSF sector.

1:00 - 1:50pm
Lunch
1:50 - 2:50pm
legs & regs 2A
NALI & NALE = a nasty sting

Daniel Butler, Director, DBA Lawyers

Session details available soon.

Strategy 2b
Passing the worker BEE test

Craig Day, Head of Technical, Colonial First State

Session details available soon.

Advice, Practice & Regulatory 2c
Finfluencers and the future of advice

Adele Martin, Money Mentor & CFP, Founder of My Money Buddy & The Savings Squad podcast

Session details available soon.

Workshop 2D
Is your documentation up to it – The next frontier of SMSF disputes and audit traps

Scott Hay-Bartlem, Partner, Cooper Grace Ward

Shelley Banton, Head of Education, ASF Audits

For many years the focus on SMSF documents has been on binding death benefit nominations.

More recently however, the cases have revolved around the effectiveness of other SMSF documentation, such as changes of trustee, deed variations and pension documents. These are fast becoming the newest form of disputes, and with these fights increasing, will your SMSF documents stand the test? The ATO’s increasing reliance on annual audits also means there are some triggers that will especially interest an auditor.

This workshop will examine the recent cases and the lessons to be learned from them. We will unpack the common mistakes in transactions and documents, what can go wrong when everything does not line up, what to look for, and how to fix it.

Workshop 2E
Death of a member – Don't just wing it

Mark Ellem, Head of Education, Accurium

Frank La Spada, Head of Technical & Training, Seamless SMSF

Dealing with the death of an SMSF member not only requires the trustee(s) to comply with superannuation law requirements and consideration of tax obligations, but there’s generally also the emotional aspect that comes with the close relationship of SMSF members and trustees.

Consequently, accountants, administrators and advisers generally play an important role in guiding their SMSF clients through this stressful period. In addition, the effect of the SMSF member’s death on audit requirements must also be considered.

The workshop will commence with a review of a timeline of duties, obligations and requirements for the SMSF trustee(s).

For each topic discussed, the associated audit requirements will be identified and direction provided on what audit evidence will be required to satisfy the SMSF’s auditor, enabling attendees to ensure the appropriate documentation is available for the fund’s audit.

2:50 - 3:35pm ​
AFTERNOON TEA
3:35 - 4:35pm
legs & regs 3A
Contributions gone wrong

Tim Miller, Education Manager, SuperGuardian

1 July 2022 was a pivotal date as it opened up the opportunities for many more superannuation fund members to make contributions to their fund. Whilst the contributions rules now make accepting contributions a less onerous task for SMSF trustees, SMSF members need to understand that there are now less barriers to making mistakes and some of those mistakes can come at a cost.

In this session we will take a look into some of the consequences of getting the contributions rules wrong as well as consider some of the lesser appreciated rules about making contributions. Some of the items that will be discussed include:

  • Work test changes create potential for more excess NCC
  • How to deal with excess contributions
  • Which contributions require an election and when do they need to be made
  • Understanding & funding Division 293 taxes
  • When can you make a CGT concessional contribution.
Strategy 3b
Strategies to fund the aged care hive

Louise Biti, Director, Aged Care Steps

Aged care advice is all the buzz – with an ageing population, increasing frailty and transformation of aged care services. With any move in homes (or hives), money and finances are major factors.

This session will explore:

  • Strategies to pay for accommodation in a rising interest rate environment
  • Decisions to liquidate or borrow and evaluating the opportunity costs
  • Why low-means clients like rising interest rates but the challenges they face
  • Adding client value – preparing clients for their whole of retirement
  • Traps that clients should be aware of
  • Opportunities that financial advisers, accountants and lawyers should take.
Advice, Practice & Regulatory 3c
BEE-haviour in a world of uncertainty

Simon Russell, Director, Behavioural Finance Australia

SMSF trustees face large, multifaceted uncertainty. For example, at a macro-level, how will geopolitical and economic issues impact their investment returns? And at a more personal level, when will they want (or be forced) to retire; how long will they live; and how much will they need to spend in retirement?
 
SMSF professionals face uncertainty too; how well do they really know their clients’ risk profiles, their communication preferences, or their perceptions of the value of the services provided to them? It can be difficult to be entirely certain.

This session will provide some interactive examples of:

  • How people make decisions when faced with uncertainty.
  • What are the common biases and blind spots and what problems can they create?
  • Given this psychological evidence: what strategies can help SMSF professionals to engage with and advise their clients?
5:00 - 5:55pm
plenary 2
Death, taxes and SMSFs – Protecting the hive when the queen dies

Scott Hay-Bartlem, Partner, Cooper Grace Ward

Death and taxes are an inevitability in SMSFs, and with an ageing population it is something that is becoming more common to deal with, often on short notice. There are some important trips and traps as we navigate the myriad of options and strategies – it doesn’t take much of a wording slip or procedural error to change the tax outcome. Learn how to practically manage the death benefit planning and payment process in some common scenarios so that we are not talking about your clients as examples at the next conference!

5:55pm
La Trobe Financial welcome reception

Day 2 - Thursday 23 february

8:00am
EXHIBITION HALL OPEN
9:10 - 10:05am
plenary 3
Why BEE in an SMSF? Latest strategies in 2023

Meg Heffron, Managing Director, Heffron Consulting Pty Ltd

So many of the best superannuation strategies are ideally suited to clients with SMSFs. In this session, Meg will explore the latest opportunities, the important steps to take when implementing them, the traps to watch for and the clients for whom they are the most valuable. She will build on earlier sessions covering new legislation and industry practice to capture the ideas that help advisers and accountants support their clients to get the most out of an SMSF.

10:05 - 10:35am
Morning tea
10:35 - 11:35am
legs & regs 4a
Got a BEE in your bonnet? – What's new in estate and superannuation litigation and how it effects SMSFs

Hayley Mitchell, Partner, Cooper Grace Ward

Litigation involving estate planning and superannuation is continuing to expand. Whether you are advising on estate planning and SMSFs, trustee obligations in paying a death benefit or beneficiaries that may have missed out, the litigation and case law serves to focus us as advisors on the issues we need to be covering with our clients. This session will examine the recent case law and provide the practical implications for SMSFs.

Strategy 4b
Digital assets and SMSFs – BEE alert or BEE alarmed?

Phil Broderick, Principal, Sladen Legal

Session details available soon.

Advice, Practice & Regulatory 4c
In conversation with the regulators

Emma Rosenzweig, Deputy Commissioner – Superannuation & Employer Obligations, Australian Taxation Office

Leah Sciacca, Senior Executive Leader, Financial Advisers Financial Services and Wealth Group, Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Session details available soon.

Workshop 4D
BEE-hold all things pensions

Shirley Schaefer, Director, BDO

Peter Crump, Senior Consultant, Private Wealth, BDO

The workshop will consider various life stages of pensions and will explore common areas of concern from the perspective of both the members/beneficiaries and internal SMSF processes and procedures.

Workshop 4E
BEE-D-BEE-Ns – Don't get stung

Matthew Burgess, Director, View Legal Pty Ltd

The pace of evolution of all aspects of superannuation related estate planning has continued to intensify over the last 12 months.

Arguably the single most important aspect of any SMSF related holistic estate planning exercise is in relation to binding death benefit nominations (or BEE-D-BEE-Ns; AKA BDBNs)

This presentation will provide an insight into a range of crucial issues and explore key points of discussion including:

  • When should BDBNs be used and when BDBNs should not be used
  • Unbundling of best practice in relation to BDBN advice – and implementation
  • Analysing the conflicting strategies of BDBNs v Reversionary Pensions v SMSF Wills v Irrevocable BDBNs
  • An update in relation to key BDBN related cases
  • Exploring valid approaches for aligning superannuation entitlements with wider holistic estate planning arrangements.
11:45am - 12:45pm
legs & regs 5A
Houston, we have a problem – SMSF’s, Incapacity, and Financial Advisers

Brian Herd, Partner, HopgoodGanim Lawyers

The effect of the incapacity of trustees or members of an SMSF is not just an issue for the SMSF and their continuing compliance status. It is a major challenge and a growing area of risk for professional advisers more generally.

A developing area of law impacting the professional adviser sector is ‘capacity negligence’. Here advisers are being challenged and potentially held liable for not assessing their client’s capacity competently or not being attuned to the insidious presence of undue influence from other members of the family. This can lead to them effectively facilitating elder abuse.

Advisers may have had a client for many years without difficulties. However an ageing client can create issues where the adviser is ill skilled to identify the issues and appreciate and where they are confronted by an ethical challenge. They may even have to consider their duty or responsibility to ‘whistle blow’ where they may become aware of illicit actions by other parties such as family members in manipulating an SMSF particularly through the auspices of an EPOA.

Brian will briefly explore the law of incapacity and its effect on SMSF’s, financial advisers, accountants and ‘other professionals’ and then drill down to the dangers of acting as an adviser without knowledge of the law or wilful avoidance of it. He will examine some riveting examples and explore some overseas development such as in the US.

Strategy 5b
Contribution Strategies – BEE innovative

John Perri, Head of Tapln & Technical Strategy, AMP

Session details available soon.

Advice, Practice & Regulatory 5c
Cybersecurity – Protecting the hive

Tony Vizza, Executive Director, Cybersecurity, KordaMentha

Brendan Read, Partner, Forensic, KordaMentha

Session details available soon.

12:45- 1:35pm
Lunch
1:35 - 2:35pm
legs & regs 6a
Insolvency & Protecting the SMSF honey pot

Chris Ketsakidis, Partner, Mills Oakley Lawyers

Asset protection is a key consideration for any business or investment structure. Discretionary trusts are often the preferred vehicle. But do SMSFs offer better financial security before and during retirement? This is especially important given the CGT concessions which encourage substantial contributions to be made into superannuation and the fact that many business real properties are held by SMSFs.

This session will explore how super benefits are impacted by bankruptcy and insolvency including:

  • Asset protection pros and cons: SMSFs vs Discretionary Trusts
  • Maximizing protected benefits in SMSFs
  • The impact of the transfer balance cap and total super balance
  • When are contributions and existing benefits safe from clawback and the ATO
  • What happens when the member is disqualified
  • What happens when an employer is facing insolvency.
Strategy 6b
Unit Trusts issueZZZ

Darren Wynen, Director, Insyt Pty Ltd

This session will address the technicalities and the practicalities of SMSFs investing in unit trust structures including:

  • Five crucial tips to ensure that SMSF investments in unit trusts comply with the tax and super laws.
  • Strategies to rectify non-geared unit trust investments that breach the rules.
  • Critical issues for an SMSF buying or selling units from/to a related party.
  • What are the top 3 ATO trip wires for SMSF investments in unit trusts?
  • Tax tips and traps for SMSFs that invest in unit trusts.
  • Unrelated trusts and pre-Aug 99 unit trusts – is it open slather?
Advice, Practice & Regulatory 6c
BEE ethical

Christina Kalantzis, Principal – Financial Services Compliance, Alexis Compliance & Risk Solutions

The SOA, among other financial advice disclosure obligations, aims to ensure that your clients receive good quality advice and are able to make informed decisions. So why do Advisers get this all so wrong?

This session will look at what BEE Ethical means, as well as ask:

  • What are the proposed outcomes arising from the Quality of advice review?
  • How you can evidence compliant Quality Advice and future proof your business?
Workshop 6D
The BEEkeepers of SMSFs – The ATO & the auditor

Belinda Aisbett, Director, Super Sphere Pty Ltd

Paul Delahunty, Director – Superannuation and Employer Obligations, Australian Taxation Office

In this workshop, we will consider the key risks associated with SMSFs from both the Regulator’s and auditor’s perspective to highlight the importance of all relevant parties working collaboratively together to ensure the auditor is adequately addressing the requirements expected by auditing standards and the ATO.

Working through practical case studies, this workshop will:

  • Explore the audit risks, issues and procedures required to ensure quality, compliance and risk managed audits
  • Understand the ATO’s compliance approach and how best to engage with the Regulator
  • Provide insight into the ATO’s referral of auditors to ASIC and action taken by ASIC
  • Steps that can be taken to mitigate litigation risk
  • Unpacking the ‘hot issues’ that auditors need to be aware of.
Workshop 6E
Death of a member – Don't just wing it

Mark Ellem, Head of Education, Accurium

Frank La Spada, Head of Technical & Training, Seamless SMSF

Dealing with the death of an SMSF member not only requires the trustee(s) to comply with superannuation law requirements and consideration of tax obligations, but there’s generally also the emotional aspect that comes with the close relationship of SMSF members and trustees.

Consequently, accountants, administrators and advisers generally play an important role in guiding their SMSF clients through this stressful period. In addition, the effect of the SMSF member’s death on audit requirements must also be considered.

The workshop will commence with a review of a timeline of duties, obligations and requirements for the SMSF trustee(s).

For each topic discussed, the associated audit requirements will be identified and direction provided on what audit evidence will be required to satisfy the SMSF’s auditor, enabling attendees to ensure the appropriate documentation is available for the fund’s audit.

2:35 - 3:05pm
Afternoon TEA
3:05 - 4:05pm
legs & regs 7A
LRBAs – BEE in the know

Nicholas Ali, Executive Manager, SMSF Technical Support, SuperConcepts

LRBAs through an SMSF can be an excellent strategy for creating retirement wealth for members. However, it is crucial they are structured correctly, as not doing so can lead to an erosion of member wealth, as well as compliance headaches for trustees.

In this session, we’ll examine the issues for consideration regarding LRBAs with focus on:

  • Ensuring the establishment is done correctly; taking note of sequencing of documentation execution, identifying the correct participants and structuring issues
  • Understanding the rules when dealing with related parties, as both tenants and lenders including the Safe Harbour provisions
  • Winding up an arrangement, both on completion of the strategy and exiting an LRBA due to a business split or separation.
Strategy 7b
Retirement investment strategies – A hivemind approach

Melanie Dunn, SMSF Technical Services Manager, Actuary, Accurium

As members enter retirement it is important to ensure the SMSF investment strategy considers the impact of paying out benefits to members and the risks involved in fund investments. Pension planning and maximising ECPI becomes an important strategic consideration as the investments of the fund are re-structured towards achieving the retirement objectives, which may include selling assets of the fund and incurring material capital gains or losses.

As seen by the introduction of the Retirement Income Covenant for APRA regulated funds, the creation of a retirement investment strategy involves complex and competing objectives compared to a strategy for funds solely in accumulation.

This session will explore:

  • How you can assist SMSF trustees create or assess an investment strategy which will balance cashflow objectives with managing risks such as sequencing and liquidity risk per the requirements of SMSF investments strategies under the SIS Regulations; and
  • How to communicate the compliance of the SMSF investment strategy in retirement for your fund auditor.
Advice, Practice & Regulatory 7c
Advisory practices – What's driving their success?

Terry Bell, Partner, Business Health Pty Ltd

Session details available soon.

4:30- 5:25pm
plenary 4
Special Keynote

Simon Kuestenmacher, Director & Co-founder, The Demographics Group

Session details available soon.

5:30pm
HALO TECHNOLOGIES Networking Night

Day 3 - Friday 24 february

9:00 - 10:00am
legs & regs 8a
BEE-sieged by documentation

Aaron Dunn, CEO & Co-founder, Smarter SMSF

There is a growing level of importance being placed on documentation within a SMSF – with challenges of super death benefits, through to the increased expectations by the Regulators and fund auditors with fund compliance. As the SMSF sector continues to digitise, this can create a number of challenges for both trustees and practitioners trying to navigate the legislative landscape.

Through the use of the conference case study, Aaron will help to dissect many of these current issues including the requirements under the electronic execution measures, dealing with the SuperStream laws for rollovers and release authorities, director ID requirements and much more.

The session will explore:

  • The various compliance implications within each of these areas; and
  • Provide some insight into ongoing discussions with the Government about modernising business communications and how it will impact the SMSF sector.
Strategy 8b
Global mo-BEE-lity of super

Jemma Sanderson, Director, Cooper Partners Financial Services Pty Ltd

With our global workforce, and particularly many people being trapped in Australia or overseas due to COVID, their superannuation position across multiple jurisdictions has become an increased area of practice.

Where international pension / superannuation systems are not all created equal and have different taxation considerations, Jemma will provide some insight and guidance in this session regarding:

  • Transferring money from foreign super onshore
  • Transferring money from Australian super offshore
  • Foreign superannuation fund considerations
  • Foreign trust considerations
  • The latest on the SMSF residency considerations post 2021/2022 Budget announcements
  • SMSF and the IRS – what do you need to know?
  • SMSF with ROPS status – what are the reporting obligations?
  • Applicable Fund Earning calculations and considerations
  • How divorce might impact overseas pension schemes.
Advice, Practice & Regulatory 8c
A sticky situation or as sweet as honey? – Insurance claims, trends and challenges

Jeffrey Scott, Head of Advice Strategy, MetLife Australia​

Session details available soon.

Workshop 8D
BEE-hold all things pensions

Shirley Schaefer, Director, BDO

Peter Crump, Senior Consultant, Private Wealth, BDO

The workshop will consider various life stages of pensions and will explore common areas of concern from the perspective of both the members / beneficiaries and internal SMSF processes and procedures.

10:00- 10:30am
MORNING TEA
10:30 - 11:30am
legs & regs 9A
Litigation risk – Intent to influence

Peter Bobbin, Consultant Lawyer

In today’s plaintiff law firm environment the risk of litigation is writ large (please forgive the pun). Litigation risk management is an important part of the design for how you deliver your client advice and how you design your client services business.

Peter Bobbin, Lawyer will guide you on what the future litigation proofed professional services business looks like and what you need to do in your business to safeguard yourself against legal action. Done correctly he says that it can enhance the client relationship and actually increase revenues. You will learn:

  • What is the line for advice versus finfluencer and how do you respond to this?
  • Where do you cross the line: statements intended to influence versus advice
  • The lines between super admin work versus personal financial advice or general financial advice that requires an AFSL versus legal work
  • Digital advice and digital assets, 2020’s and beyond
  • The multi advice in super; compliance, tax, investments and insurance
  • The PI Insurers perspective – war stories from the field
  • The top risk factors for all professional businesses.
Strategy 9b
Death and taxes – BEE-yond the grave

Julie Steed, Senior Technical Services Manager, Insignia Financial Group

Whilst death and taxes are both inevitable, SMSFs offer unique opportunities that can assist in reducing tax payable on superannuation death benefits.

In this session we will review the taxation of death benefits and review strategies that can minimise death benefits tax in an SMSF.

In this session we will share examples and insights including:

  • Briefly revisiting the recontribution strategies available to older clients post 1 July 2022
  • Considering the opportunities to minimise tax on insurance proceeds
  • Examining the conditions required to utilise the deduction for future liability to pay benefits
  • Dealing with legacy pension reserves on death.
Advice, Practice & Regulatory 9c
Closing the advice gap

Andrew Inwood, Global CEO, CoreData

Session details available soon.

11:40 - 12:35pm
plenary 5
Quality of Advice Panel

Michelle Levy, Partner / QOA Reviewer, Allens / Treasury
Sarah Abood, CEO, Financial Planning Association
Paul Barrett, CEO, AZ Next Generation Advisory
John Maroney, CEO, SMSF Association
Tahn Sharpe, Managing Editor, The Inside Network

Session details available soon.

12:35 - 12:45pm
Closing address

It brings a lot of value to the industry: a lot of people come here for the excellent presenters and CPD points, but I think the connection with everyone getting back together is a big part of it.
Another great line-up of presentations from well informed and interested presenters that kept me engaged from start to finish.