Australian small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners are increasingly looking to SMSFs in light of concerns about the sufficiency of their retirement savings, new research has found.
RSM Bird Cameron’s ‘thinkBIG’ 2014 research found 48 per cent of SME owners currently have an SMSF, compared to 45 per cent in 2013 and 36 per cent in 2012.
SME owners are favouring the flexibility and control a self-managed fund offers, said Andrew Graham, national head of business solutions at RSM Bird Cameron.
“With continual tightening of the age pension and health care card systems, people need to be more proactive and in control of their retirement destiny, which may be driving them to SMSFs,” he said.
“This reflects the continued changes in taxation of superannuation. While contribution caps have finally increased, the constant changes to superannuation laws and proposed changes to the age pension undermines people’s confidence in the system as a whole.
“We can speculate on a myriad of possible outcomes, including changes to tax rates and the elimination of tax-free superannuation. However, the overall importance of superannuation as a tax-effective savings option for many people seems to get lost. The superannuation environment is specially designed for concessional tax treatment. This means that, even though things may change a little over time, the overall tax-effectiveness of the superannuation industry will remain.”
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