2023 virtual


#NC2023 countdown

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Join the Hive in 2023!

Don’t miss out on the action! For those who can’t join us in person, we are offering a curated virtual program of National Conference 2023 content. Attend live-streamed or on-demand sessions presented by key industry experts, and earn up to 22 CPD hours across 2 days.

Kick start your 2023 with CPD and set up for success!

secure your place today


Member Virtual Conference Pass

Available to current financial SMSF Association Members for day 1 and day 2.

Register here


Member virtual Day Pass

Available to current financial SMSF Association Members for attendance on day 1 or day 2 only.

Register here


Virtual Pass

Available to Non-Members for day 1 and day 2.

Register here

View in-person registration options here.

*For Terms and Conditions, click here.


Note: The National Conference 2023 Program is subject to change. The program listed below is current, as of 21 December 2022.


Watch Live Stream sessions on the day as they are happening, all times shown are in AEDT. They will also be available on-demand from Monday 27 February 2023.

on-demand only SESSIONS

On-Demand sessions will be available for viewing from Monday 27 February until Friday 31 March 2023.

Download the National Conference 2023 virtual program PDF here.

Day 1 - Wednesday 22 february

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

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

Start National Conference 2023 on a high, with the traditional fast moving, high energy legislation update session presented by Deputy CEO / Director of Policy & Education, Peter Burgess. Join Peter as he provides a stocktake of the tax and regulatory changes which shaped the SMSF landscape in 2022 and previews the legislative agenda for the year ahead. As the Chair of the 2023 National Conference program committee, Peter will also highlight sessions on this year’s program which will provide further detail and others to watch out for.

12:00 - 1:00pm
legs & regs
Concurrent 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.
Concurrent 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
Concurrent 1C
The policy buzz

Tracey Scotchbrook, Head of Policy and Advocacy, SMSF Association

In this session, we 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
1:50 - 2:50pm
legs & regs
Concurrent 2A
NALI & NALE = a nasty sting

Daniel Butler, Director, DBA Lawyers

This presentation will bring your current understanding of non-arm’s length income (NALI) and the changes introduced with effect from 1 July 2018 (i.e., non-arm’s length expenses, NALE) up to date so that you are aware of all the latest developments, including:

  • General versus specific expenses – understanding this ‘fine’ distinction
  • When will an amount be “NALI” versus a “contribution” under the ATO pending draft ruling TR 2010/DC-1
  • Best practice for related party services to SMSFs after 30 June 2023 in view of the ATO’s broad ‘universal’ view on ‘general expenses’ tainting everything
  • SMSF auditor’s obligations re: NALI
  • The latest update on Gov’t / Treasury / legislative / ATO developments
  • What to do when you receive a NALI assessment – what rights do you have?
Concurrent 2B
Passing the worker BEE test

Craig Day, Head of Technical, Colonial First State

Gainful employment remains a key superannuation concept which applies in a range of different situations, such as from making personal deductible contributions to accessing benefits upon retirement.

This session looks at what it means to be gainfully employed and explores the different situations where it’s relevant. Topics covered include:

  • The meaning of gainful employment
  • Being an employee vs being self employed
  • Passive income and gainful employment – are they really mutually exclusive?
  • Peer-to-peer platforms and being self employed
  • Common gainful employment issues and their advice implications.
Advice, Practice & Regulatory
Concurrent 2C
Finfluencers and the future of advice

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

Financial influencers (aka ‘Finfluencers’) have made ‘making money’ a mainstream topic of conversation. With rapid advancements in technology, Finfluencers have utilised different channels such as podcasts or social media, to spread their financial knowledge, tips and tricks. It is unsurprising that some investors are taking on aspects of these conversations and implementing them into their own financial strategy, but at what cost?

It is more important now than ever to understand the role Finfluencers play in the future of advice, and how this may impact SMSF and superannuation practitioners. We will explore the role of Finfluencers in the future of your business and how this impacts your clients, as well as how to adapt to the increase in cost and demand for quality advice.

2:50 - 3:35pm ​
legs & regs
Concurrent 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 creating 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.
Concurrent 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 face the challenges they cause
  • Adding client value – preparing clients for the whole of their retirement
  • Traps that clients should be aware of
  • Opportunities that financial advisers, accountants and lawyers should take.
Advice, Practice & Regulatory
Concurrent 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?

Day 2 - Thursday 23 february

10:35 - 11:35am
legs & regs
Concurrent 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.

Concurrent 4B
Digital assets and SMSFs – BEE alert or BEE alarmed?

Phil Broderick, Principal, Sladen Legal

Holding digital assets in SMSFs is all the buzz (or at least was, up until the recent price crashes)! However, holding digital assets in SMSFs is not for the faint hearted.

In this session, we will examine the regulatory and tax issues with SMSFs and digital assets, including:

  • Acquiring digital assets (from related parties)?
  • SIS Act issues with holding digital assets
  • Tax treatment of holding and dealing with digital assets
  • Issues that arise with holding digital assets in retirement phase or upon the death of a member.
Advice, Practice & Regulatory
Concurrent 4C
Protecting the hive – The BEEkeeper's scrum!

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

Join the ATO’s Deputy Commissioner – Superannuation & Employer Obligations, Emma Rosenzweig and ASIC’s Senior Executive Leader – Financial Services & Wealth Group, Leah Sciacca, for an SMSF sector update from the regulator’s perspective. Emma and Leah will outline the results of their respective compliance programs and will share their experiences on emerging trends in the SMSF sector and their key risk focus areas. This session will incorporate a 30 minute Q&A session to be hosted by the SMSF Association’s Deputy CEO / Director of Policy & Education, Peter Burgess.

11:45am - 12:45pm
legs & regs
Concurrent 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.

We 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. We will examine some riveting examples and explore some overseas development such as in the US.

Concurrent 5B
Contribution Strategies – BEE innovative

John Perri, Head of Tapln & Technical Strategy, AMP

The super contribution rules were significantly relaxed on 1 July 2022, creating new and further opportunities for many super fund members.

For super fund members aged 67 to 75, the 1 July 2022 changes meant that some could make contributions for the first time in a long time, while also causing advisers to re-think how a range of common advice strategies are delivered going forward.

In this session we will look at some key contribution strategies that have emerged from the changes, including:

  • Recontribution strategy – where it works, where it doesn’t and could Part IVA apply?
  • Downsizer contributions from age 55 (which are preserved until a condition of release is met), and the interaction with other contribution caps and Total Super Balance
  • Unlocking and maximising tax benefits of making super contributions while navigating potential pitfalls
  • Small business CGT contributions – now easier to make beyond age 67 and interaction with other contribution caps
  • Increasing concessional contributions using an ‘income swap’ strategy involving a transition to retirement pension or a retirement phase pension.
Advice, Practice & Regulatory
Concurrent 5C
Resistance is futile: Minimising the harm should your business suffer a cyber breach

Tony Vizza, Executive Director, Cybersecurity, KordaMentha

Brendan Read, Partner, Forensic, KordaMentha

Cybersecurity and data breaches continue to dominate headlines, with mega-breaches impacting large Australian organisations. Unfortunately, these mega-breaches hide the fact that smaller businesses, which are not as cyber mature, are far more prone to cyber breaches. In fact, according to the federal government’s Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), a cyber breach is reported every seven minutes.

We will talk about trends in the world of cybercrime and lessons from the frontlines, sharing best practice techniques in strengthening your defences against cybersecurity threats.

12:45- 1:35pm
Lunch break
1:35 - 2:35pm
legs & regs
Concurrent 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
  • Maximising 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.
Concurrent 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
Concurrent 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?
2:35 - 3:05pm
Afternoon TEA Break
legs & regs
Concurrent 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.
Concurrent 7B
Retirement investment strategies – A hivemind approach

Melanie Dunn, Principal, 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
  • How to communicate the compliance of the SMSF investment strategy in retirement for your fund auditor.
Advice, Practice & Regulatory
Concurrent 7C
What’s driving success in Australian advice practices today?

Tony Stephens, Partner, Business Health Pty Ltd

Through the work they do with practice principals, licensees and product/platform providers, Business Health has compiled the pre-eminent benchmarking dataset available in the Australian advice community. The depth and breadth of their analysis allows them to identify the themes and trends that are emerging in the marketplace and also quantify the impact they are having on the critical practice metrics. In this session we will share some of the common attributes of successful firms and what have been their strategies and actions to move the performance needle.


secure your place today


Member Virtual Conference Pass

Register here


Member virtual Day Pass

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Virtual Pass

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View in-person registration options here

*For Terms and Conditions, click here.

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Another great line-up of presentations from well informed and interested presenters that kept me engaged from start to finish.