Responsibilities, time commitments for SMSFs ‘overblown’
An industry lawyer has highlighted that while the responsibilities of establishing and running an SMSF are at a similar level to setting up a company, the primary focus of regulators has been on SMSF set-ups.
Speaking at an event, Townsends Business & Corporate Lawyers owner Peter Townsend said in consultation paper CP 216, one of the factors ASIC wanted to make sure advisers were disclosing to clients with SMSF establishments was the responsibility involved in running your own super fund.
“Nobody talks about that when you talk about [setting up] a company. You can pick up your keyboard and literally set up a company within an hour, nobody tells you that you’ve got all these director’s responsibilities,” said Mr Townsend.
While he acknowledged that while ASIC does send a letter outlining the responsibilities involved with running a company, this occurs after the company has already been set up.
“They don’t make such a big deal about it when you set up a company. But somehow, setting up your own super fund is supposed to carry with it all this enormous responsibility,” he said.
“It’s nonsense, there’s no heavier responsibility than there is for running a company and you meet that responsibility by getting good advice and surrounding yourself with people who know what they’re doing. Time commitment, again overblown – you get people to help you, it’s not a huge deal.”
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.