Government may restrict re-contribution strategies says Mercer

The government may consider placing restrictions on SMSF re-contribution strategies as part of its overall superannuation tax policy, a senior partner at Mercer has warned. 

Mercer senior partner and senior actuary David Knox said the government will likely introduce major tax reforms in 2017, not only in super but in other areas across also, which could include income tax, GST or corporate tax.

“It seems to me that the government is heading towards, or wanting to move down the track to a major tax reform debate, and will go to the election with a whitepaper and a policy that will include changes to super, but will include changes to other taxation arrangements as well,” said Mr Knox.

If the government decides that superannuation is to be used solely for income rather than estate planning then this may result in some bigger impacts for certain SMSF strategies, he warned.

“I think it’s clear that the government has indicated that superannuation is not for bequest planning, or passing to the next generation- it is to be used in your retirement years,” he said.

Mr Knox said it’s likely the government will keep the minimum drawdown rules that form part of the account based pension, but said it could also implement other restrictions relating to contributions and taxation incentives.

“It may be that we see a restriction on the level of non-concessional contributions or the re-contribution strategy, which is fairly popular,” he said.

This follows suggestions by federal member for Deakin Michael Sukkar in early November last year that anti-detriment payments could be scrapped “following recommendations from the tax reform white paper”.

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