Practitioners told to ‘dig deeper’ for pension information
With some clients still unaware that capped defined benefit income streams will be impacted by the super reforms, practitioners have been urged to reconfirm with clients that they have provided all relevant information.
SMSF Association head of technical Peter Hogan says some SMSF trustees may not realise that it’s more than just account-based pensions that are affected by the new rules, and a capped defined benefit income stream that’s being paid might have an impact on the amount of money they’re able to retain in pension phase within their SMSF.
“Anecdotally, a lot of advisers are being told for the first time by their clients that they’ve actually got a capped defined benefit income stream operating somewhere,” Mr Hogan said.
In the past, these types of income streams didn’t impact other pensions so clients may not realise they need to notify their practitioner about them, he said.
“SMSF practitioners need to check that they have all the relevant information from their clients, particularly if they’re aware that the client has employment history with the government,” Mr Hogan warned.
“They may need to dig a little deeper. There may be some of these other entitlements that they’re not aware of.”
Having all this information on income streams will be critical for creating the minute for the commutation request.
“The minute needs to appropriately acknowledge the existence of other pension accounts elsewhere that may impact upon what happens with any pension that’s being paid out of the SMSF in terms of how much needs to be commuted and whether, in fact, it’s the SMSF pension that will be commuted or whether it will be some other pension entitlement that will need to be commuted,” Mr Hogan said.
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.