No wholesale SMSF review needed: ICAA

No wholesale review of the SMSF sector is necessary, according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA), which has also called for positive changes to super made by Labor recently to stand.

Addressing the ICAA SMSF conference in Melbourne yesterday, ICAA head of superannuation Liz Westover said the institute would like the new government to rethink the removal of the low income super contribution, notwithstanding its link to the mining tax, because it remains good policy regardless of other budget measures.

Ms Westover also asked the government to reconsider deferring increases to the superannuation guarantee.

"We want to ensure further reform only occurs following considered discussion and with a long-term outlook," she said.

It is particularly important for the SMSF sector that any changes are based on real and substantiated evidence of the underlying issues, she added.

"We will be encouraging [the government] not to look at any wholesale review of SMSFs, despite calls from some sectors of the superannuation and broader financial services industry," she said.

"The increasing prevalence of property spruikers pushing people inappropriately into SMSFs for the purpose of borrowing to buy real estate, together with others promising holidays for SMSF trustees may result in this review taking place sooner rather than later," Ms Westover said.

The onus is on all industry stakeholders to ensure the ongoing success of the SMSF industry by ensuring compliance with the spirit of the law as well as the word of the law, and to hold to account other groups that do not, she said.

There is no doubt the SMSF sector will continue to be scrutinised, given that it holds $500 billion worth of assets, particularly when so much of the ongoing inflows are mandatory SG contributions and have access to concessional tax arrangements, she added.

The industry should expect borrowing to be a focus for Treasury, especially given that Jeremy Cooper recommended a review of borrowing in his report, Ms Westover said.

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