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SMSF trustees’ confidence boosted

The outlook of SMSF trustees should be increasingly positive as a result of the government’s declaration of support for the key principles of superannuation and increased ATO and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) sector surveillance, according to the SMSF Association.

However, those were not the only factors the professional body pointed to that should contribute to a rise in SMSF trustee confidence.

“The other critical element to assist in building consumers’ confidence that is emerging in our sector is the growth of the SMSF profession. Trustees have access to the quality advice they critically need,” SMSF Association chief executive Andrea Slattery said.

“Certainly it is important at a time when the ATO is focusing on SMSFs to ensure they comply with the superannuation and tax laws that trustees get specialist advice.”

Slattery cited pension drawdowns as an example of trustee activity where professional advice should be sought.

Specifically, SMSF Association suggested SMSF trustees might need professional advice to ensure the minimum pension withdrawal threshold was met so they could access the associated concessional tax treatment.

“Such advice is particularly pertinent for funds that are in pension phase to ensure that trustees abide by the rules, especially as they relate to the minimum payment,” Slattery said.

“It is important that trustees who are in pension phase comply with the tax and superannuation rules in order to retain the concessional tax treatment that these pensions receive.

“SMSF trustees that are unsure of the superannuation pension rules should seek to educate themselves about them as well as get specialist SMSF advice to help them meet their obligations.”

She said it was imperative SMSF trustees made sure they complied with all of their legal obligations while running their funds and receiving good advice could certainly be of assistance.

Slattery added sound advice could result in trustees achieving their desired retirement outcomes.

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