SMSF member increase to provide greater flexibility and choice

The Parliament has passed legislation allowing an increase in the maximum number of SMSF members from four to six – a Federal Government initiative the SMSF Association welcomes.

If the Bill receives Royal Assent by 30 June 2021, this measure will take effect from 1 July 2021.

SMSF Association CEO John Maroney says: “As we stated in our submission to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee inquiry into this legislation, we believe this increase from four to six will provide additional flexibility and choice in the superannuation system for those wanting to use it.

“It may also lead to lower superannuation fees and could improve the ability to pool balances and invest in a greater choice of assets, as well as assist with estate planning.

“Although the Association does not believe there will be a significant number of SMSFs using this legislation, it will undoubtedly benefit some larger families.”

Maroney notes that an amendment moved by the Opposition to review the operation of the Bill, including the conduct of financial advisers, SMSF trustees and SMSF investment performance and governance in 12 months, was narrowly defeated.

“The Association notes the Opposition’s concerns, especially where it pertains to the need for providers of SMSF advice to have completed specialist SMSF training.

“It has been the SMSF Association’s long-held policy position that SMSF advice should be underpinned by specialist education requirements, and it has been pleasing to see the number of advisers completing the SMSF Association’s SMSF Specialist Advisor Accreditation program increasing in recent times.”

The Association also welcomes passage of bills that will extend the non-concessional contribution bring-forward rules to individuals aged 65 and 66 and the Your Future, Your Super legislation.

“The extension of the non-concessional contribution bring-forward rules provides much needed certainty and greater flexibility for individuals in this cohort to make voluntary superannuation contributions.

“The Your Future, Your Super Bill will give superannuation members greater visibility over their funds’ investment performance and encourage higher levels of member engagement. We also support measures that reduce costs by eliminating unnecessary duplicate super accounts,” Maroney says.