There are a range of significant dates to acknowledge throughout a regular year for SMSF trustees. Olivia Long details how to plan for 2018.
We all know just how time consuming being an SMSF trustee can be. The work involved can seem never-ending. Well, what follows is a diary of SMSF events for 2018 that hopefully will help you plan for the year ahead – at least where it involves your SMSF.
It’s the new year – time for those resolutions. For SMSF trustees, reviewing your fund’s investment strategy and individual investments should be top of the list.
Questions to ask yourself include:
- What are your overall investment objectives?
- What is your desired rate of return? Did your fund meet your target in 2017?
- What is your fund/member risk profile? Is it still appropriate? (See table below.)
- Are you satisfied with your current portfolio holdings and fund diversity?
- Are there any other asset classes worth considering? For example, is property an opportunity in the year ahead?
- Is your asset allocation appropriate for today’s financial markets?
- What is your time frame to retirement?
- Are you on track with your retirement savings?
When you review your investment strategy you should also review and, if necessary, update your nomination of beneficiary documents. Are they still relevant? Is your nomination binding? If so, review the date of signing as they need to be reviewed every three years if they are not a perpetual binding nomination.
Having asked yourself the hard questions, and hopefully getting some answers, January is usually a quiet time in financial markets and as such an ideal opportunity to touch base with your financial planner if you have one. Alternatively, you could consider getting one-off advice to ensure you’ve structured your SMSF correctly.
28 – Tax lodgement deadline for SMSFs established in the 2017 financial year.
Lodgement deadline for December quarter activity statements.
Have you seen your 2016/17 financial statements? If not, you’re nearing the lodgement deadline and it’s time to follow up with your accountant/administrator.
28 – Lodgement deadline for March quarter activity statements.
It’s important as an SMSF trustee to be across any budget announcements about changes to superannuation and how they may affect you. Many SMSF specialist firms run free seminars on issues arising out of the budget and you should consider attending one.
15 – Tax lodgement deadline for all other SMSFs.
It’s time to start your year-end planning.
- Are your member contributions up to date?
- Have you maximised your concessional cap?
- Ensure you don’t exceed your cap to avoid excess contributions tax – confirm the amount of your cap as it may be affected by the value of your total superannuation balance.
- Personal deductible super contributions are now available for employees without the need to satisfy the ’10 per cent rule’. If you are eligible for the government co-contribution, have you contributed?
- Bring forward rule – to trigger or not to trigger? Is it an appropriate time to make a $300,000 non-concessional contribution and take advantage of the bring forward rule?
It’s time to review your business financials and decide what (if any) amount you wish to contribute to your fund before 30 June.
Are you aged 57? Can you benefit from starting a transition-to-retirement (TTR) pension? Are you 60 years old or over? Can you benefit from starting an account-based pension/TTR?
Are you eligible for the government age pension or commonwealth senior’s healthcare card?
Funds in pension mode
What were your minimum/maximum pension requirements for the financial year? Have you met your pension obligations? If not, it’s time to top them up.
July – Happy New (Financial) Year! We move into 2018/19
This is a great time to reassess a member’s ability to contribute based on their total super balance at 30 June.
14 – Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) payment summaries must be distributed to pension members under 60.
28 – Lodgement deadline for June quarter activity statements and transfer balance account reports for funds with members exceeding a balance of $1 million – other members are expected to have until the due date of their SMSF tax return to submit the transfer balance account report.
Funds in pension mode
It’s time to review your new minimum/maximum pension figures for the 2019 financial year. Although you won’t have exact figures until your year-end financial statements are complete, this is an ideal time to review your income needs, including how the income is sourced, and change any periodic pension or lump sum payments you may have set up. TTR pension recipients should review their accumulation and pension account balances and consider a consolidation (stop/restart) of the pension and/or the establishment of a second pension if more favourable.
14 – Lodgement of PAYG summaries and statements to the ATO.
It’s time to review your member contributions for 2017/18 and prepare your notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction for personal superannuation contributions to give to your accountant so they can start on your year-end financial statements. Funds likely to get a tax refund should get their paperwork to their accountant quickly so the refund can be invested sooner rather than later.
28 – Lodgement deadline for September quarter activity statements and transfer balance account reports for funds with members exceeding a balance of $1 million.
Time to earn a little spending money at the spring racing carnival! This should NOT be considered financial advice.
Financial markets are generally quiet as we near the Christmas/holiday period. Are there any investment opportunities (see Table 1)?