SMSF industry braces for 2017 budget
While the SMSF industry is not expecting any major changes to superannuation in tonight’s budget, industry experts predict some minor technical adjustments may be introduced.
The Institute of Public Accountants’ general manager of technical policy Tony Greco says the superannuation industry still grappling with the changes to super announced in 2016’s budget and it’s unlikely the government will implement any major changes to super this year.
“Last year’s budget moved the goalposts for super quite substantially with the introduction of the transfer balance cap and the changes taking hold on 1 July, so we’ve got quite a lot in the pipeline,” Mr Greco told SMSF Adviser.
“I think the industry is now really grappling with getting everyone across the line in relation to the transfer balance cap, and the ATO, for example, still hasn’t sent out letters advising people of the possibility that they need to do something before 30th of June.”
Mr Greco said many people have not addressed the changes that need to be made in relation to their fund and advisers are struggling to implement all the changes they need to make for all their clients before the end of the financial year.
“I think everyone is more focused on implementation, and further changes to super will just cause grief in the industry because they’re still trying to get everyone sorted in relation to last year’s changes.”
Mr Greco said there are, however, a number of technical changes that the industry is calling for to bed down last year’s changes.
“Hopefully the government is only going to make technical changes to facilitate last year’s changes and address some of the anomalies with the implementation of last year’s changes,” he said.
SMSF Association head of technical Peter Hogan also doesn’t expect any major changes to the system, but agreed there could be some announcements in relation to how they’re going to administer the transfer balance cap and some of last year’s other changes.
“We’re not expecting anything of any major importance. We’re hoping that this year is going to be a nice quiet year for us, given last year was such a busy 12 months,” Mr Hogan said.
AMP Capital chief executive Shane Oliver also weighed in, saying that with the focus on housing affordability, one change that could be implemented could be to make it easier for empty-nesters to sell the family home, downsize and top up their super.
“It may be that people who downsize will be able to put a certain amount from the sale of their property into superannuation,” Mr Oliver said.
From July 1, there will be a $1.6 million cap on the amount of money investors can put into a super fund at retirement.
Mr Oliver said this could discourage people from downsizing, because it may mean that after the sale of the house, they will have more than $1.6 million to put into super.
“A change around this could mean people could put more into their super fund than $1.6 million to help free up under-utilised housing.”
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.