Scott Morrison’s 2018 Budget was handed down earlier this week, which included several measures favourable to SMSFs and Australians actively managing their retirement. One such measure was a proposal to reduce the annual audit requirement to once every three years for SMSFs with a good compliance history.
SMSF Association CEO John Maroney says this proposal, which will cut red tape for the SMSF sector, is a fitting reward for trustees who strictly adhere to the regulatory regime.
However, Maroney adds that it’s a strongly held Association position that an independent audit is essential to the integrity of the sector, and as such “we keenly await the implementation details of the proposal”.
Maroney says these positive measures, in line with a 2018-19 Budget that largely left superannuation alone, will come as an “enormous relief” to SMSFs and their advisers.
“This continued regulatory stability for SMSFs is welcomed by the Association and is sorely needed as trustees still come to grips with the superannuation tax changes that took effect on 1 July 2017".
Additional changes include the intention to increase the maximum number of members for an SMSF from four to six, and the Pensions Loan Scheme will be boosted to enable everyone over pension age to effectively mortgage their home to the government to access fortnightly payments. Changes to the Pension Work Bonus were also put forward.
Older Australians were also beneficiaries of the Budget via an expanded Pension Work Bonus program, the enlarging of the Pension Loans Scheme to include people on the full-age pension and self-funded retirees, and granting a one-year superannuation work test exemption for recent retirees with balances under $300,000.
“These measures are welcomed by the SMSF Association for providing more flexibility for older Australians to manage their retirement.”