Look to UK model to prevent ‘colossal’ SMSF losses

Look to UK model to prevent ‘colossal’ SMSF losses

Reducing property losses in the SMSF sector could be achieved by adopting measures similar to those used in the UK’s self-invested personal pension scheme (SIPP), according to Tria Investment Partners.

Speaking at a media briefing hosted by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, Tria Investment Partner’s managing director Andrew Baker said the aggressive selling of property combined with gearing is cyclical in Australia.

“It goes to the biggest pot of money around, and this time it’s SMSFs. It always ends in tears, guaranteed, every time, with colossal losses,” Mr Baker said. “We already see that, it’s just coming in $10m lots instead of $100m.”

Mr Baker suggested looking to the UK’s SIPP scheme to “fix” the issue.

“The UK’s SIPP structure has got this pretty right. There’s a ban on residential property, there’s a ban on personal use assets,” he said. “[It’s] very easy to do, if you did the same thing here, you would knock out 90 per cent of the problems we have.”

However, Andrew Bloore, chief executive of SMSF administration business Super IQ, suggested some of the current changes in the superannuation industry are working towards creating higher standards for those involved in the SMSF sector.

Mr Bloore noted that auditors are now required to be registered and that SMSF trustees are now subject to the ATO’s new penalty regime.

“That’s a fundamental [way] of improving the way that things operate to a standard. And provided we can get them operating to a standard, then the industry will thrive, the way it should thrive, for the right people. And remove people [from] the industry that we shouldn’t have,” Mr Bloore said.

Look to UK model to prevent ‘colossal’ SMSF losses
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