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Recent murmurs that SMSFs may be included in the Retirement Income Covenant have sparked discussion on its pros and cons. I believe carefully constructed legislation could lead to more positive outcomes for members.
RIC: A recap
Broadly speaking, the Retirement Income Strategy Covenant (RIC) requires trustees to develop a retirement income strategy and plan that meets the needs of retired fund members or those approaching retirement.
A one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate, and each fund’s retirement strategy will need to be suitable for its members based on the evidence available.
Trustees must also identify how they plan to achieve three main objectives for members:
- Maximise their retirement income, including allowance for the Age Pension, where appropriate.
- Manage risks relating to the sustainability and stabilityof their retirement income.
- Have some flexible access to their savings during Retirement.
An opportunity for Trustees, members and accountants
The SMSF market is approximately 37% of the total superannuation assets, with the average assets per SMSF being $1,472,1061.
Much of the lifecycle of an SMSF is focused on growing wealth and ensuring succession plans or estate planning is in place.
However, without the need to adhere to RIC, retirement planning can come too late, resulting in potentially missed opportunities to maximise retirement income and placing extra pressure on Trustees, members and their accountants.
Developing a sound strategy to meet lifestyle income needs in retirement requires time and planning well in advance. Time that very few accountants have and planning that very few members can do without industry know-how.
SMSF Check-Up Report: weeks of analysis completed in minutes
accountantsGPS understands these burdens and has developed the SMSF Check-Up Report to address them. Available to accountants who use BGL’s Simple Fund 360, it creates a fully tailored strategic analysis for any SMSF in under 5 minutes.
The factual report helps accountants get behind the numbers and understand a fund’s financial health. It also provides easy-to-understand, actionable insights, including trustee strategy, member contributions and retirement planning. Because it is a fact-based report, there is no risk of overstepping the advice line.
Using this report as a base, trustees, members, and their accountants can start to make informed, appropriate decisions that will have them comfortably ahead, whether or not SMSFs are integrated into RIC.
To learn more about accountantsGPS, visit their website here.
About the author George Haramis is CEO and co-founder of Fiduciary, the Australian fintech behind accountantGPS and moneyGPS. The platforms are designed to bring the best of digital technology to the financial services industry.
ATO Self Managed Superfunds – A stasistical overview 2020-21
accountantsGPS and moneyGPS are run by Fiduciary Financial Services (AFSL: 247344) ABN: 76 003 624 888
It is important to note that while the report provides detailed feedback on the health of the fund, the information contained is factual in nature and nothing should be read to constitute financial advice, nor should the information be acted upon without professional advice.