Superannuation on your terms.

For many Australians, the prospect of running their own Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) represents greater freedom, flexibility and absolute control - the opportunity to carve out their own path. For others, SMSFs can seem complex and onerous. The answer is probably somewhere in the middle.

Consider the following...

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The Pros...

  • You can invest in more areas beyond what a retail fund will offer, such as real property, collectibles or physical gold.
  • You  have greater control over the timing of the purchase or sale of assets.
  • Can be cheaper than retail/public offer schemes.
  • The ability to reduce capital gains tax if assets are sold in the income/pension phase.

The Cons...

  • An SMSF requires active supervision.
  • There are complex rules and regulations you need to follow.
  • May end up more expensive than a retail/public offer fund.
  • Your investment returns could be lower due to inexperience.

If you have at least $300,000 of accumulated super, you're good with 'paperwork' and you don't mind spending at least a few days per month managing your fund and finances (both now and as you age), an SMSF may be right for you. But if you're thinking about going down the SMSF path, you should seek a professional opinion.  

 

A collaborative approach.

For a smoother, stress-free experience, continuity is essential.

We encourage an open dialogue between all of your trusted advisers (i.e. Accountant, Lawyer, Broker etc) - it's the best way we know to ensure that your SMSF is set-up correctly, and managed properly on an ongoing basis. 

In short, we'll help you pull all of the SMSF pieces together and lighten your load, so that you can focus on those issues that are most important to you.

Yes, the responsibilities of running your own fund do need to be taken seriously,  but with the right people by your side, the journey should be a joyful one.

 

 

5 SMSF Tips for 2017...

A sweeping raft of changes will be introduced in 2017 that self-managed super fund (SMSF) members must take into account to ensure they are making the most of their fund.

The onus is on SMSF trustees to do as much as possible now to take advantage of the existing superannuation environment before the rules change. Here are five top tips for ensuring your SMSF is in the best shape it can possibly be this year.

1. Stay inside the new super cap

On the legislative front, 2017 is going to be all about preparing for the new superannuation rules that were passed by parliament in 2016.

If a member has a large super balance, it will be important to make sure that from 1 July onwards, they have no more than $1.6 million in the pension phase in the fund. The transfer balance cap rules, as they are called, that come into force at that time mean $1.6 million is the most someone can contribute to the superannuation environment and receive favourable tax treatment.

If your balance exceeds the $1.6 million amount you will need to commute part or all of your pension.

2. Take advantage of existing contribution caps

New concessional caps are another change that starts from the 2017/2018 financial year. People 49 and over can now contribute $35,000 a year to their super fund tax-free, with this number being $30,000 for people younger than this. But a flat $25,000 a year will apply from 1 July for everyone.

For couples, the idea is for both partners to take advantage of the contribution caps to make the most of existing rules. It's also important not to leave contributions to the last minute and make contributions regularly. 

3. Review your transition to retirement pension

From 1 July this year transition to retirement pensions won’t be as tax effective as they are today. Changes are being introduced that reduce the tax exemption from earnings within a pension fund in a transition to retirement strategy.

Previously, many super fund investors who had reached the preservation age of 55 or older and were still working would take advantage of special provisions that allowed them to contribute up to $35,000 into their super fund and then also receive a small pension and pay either no tax on this, or a concessional rate of tax.

4. Review the capital gains tax (CGT) cost base of your assets

If you have unrealised capital gains in your SMSF, and your pensions will be affected by the new super rules, there is a one-off opportunity to re-set your CGT cost base. This concession has been introduced as part of the transition to the new super environment that starts next year. This may allow you to pay some CGT now, and significantly less CGT when you sell assets in the future.

5. Look into your salary sacrifice arrangements

There will be an alternative to salary sacrificing from 1 July 2017 that will allow you to make what are known as ‘personal concessional contributions’ instead.

Under these provisions individuals will be able to contribute up to $25,000 a year, less any employer contributions the fund receives, from their own resources.

 

Note: These are general advice 'tips' and therefore we have not take into account your personal situation. So before making any personal taxation or financial planning decisions, please consult your financial advisor or accountant.