SMSF set-up rate concerning: Cooper panellist
A panellist from the 2010 Cooper Review has said he is concerned at the rate of SMSF establishment and that inappropriate candidates for self-managed funds are becoming trustees.
Self-managed funds are best suited to funds with a balance “north of $500,000” and for those who have financial competencies to invest independently, Ian Martin, vice chairman, Asia Pacific, at Berkshire Capital told SMSF Adviser.
“I think SMSFs work for people with a certain threshold level of assets or people who are likely to get to a certain threshold level of assets within a reasonable timeframe,” Mr Martin said.
“There is an argument that [trustees] can use an adviser… but I think in general [SMSFs] are for people who have a reasonably high degree of literacy around financial matters and around the legal and accounting issues that running an SMSF necessarily involves,” he added.
“I think it’s overly simplistic to think that you can set one up and delegate it to somebody…without an understanding of the responsibilities of being a trustee.”
Mr Martin also recommended a review into borrowing as per the Cooper Review’s advice, drawing attention to “disconcerting” sales practices and anecdotal evidence that gearing into property has increased.
“It would be prudent for the authorities to go back and take a look at the Cooper Review recommendation and actually undertake that inquiry,” Mr Martin said.
“I’m not suggesting another Cooper Review, but I think for example the Treasury ought to be taking a look at the asset allocation numbers… and see how big an issue this is.”
“I personally think the sector would benefit from stability rather than constant change, but nonetheless, the reality is that from time to time situations change and new products develop, circumstances change and given that that’s the case… there are things that are prudent to look at.”