Speaking at the National SMSF Conference 2017, Investment Trends research director Recep III Peker said there was a “big assurance” opportunity for accountants to service the growing population of trustees facing retirement or are currently retired.
Nearly half of SMSFs are in decumulation and the rest are on average, 12 years from retirement, noted Mr Peker.
“Two-thirds of trustees haven't planned for aged care and even among those who are retired, only half have planned for aged care so this is a really big gap in the market,” said Mr Peker.
“When it comes to getting retirement information, accountants are well ahead of financial planners among SMSF trustees.
“They expect you to talk to them about aged care, longevity protection, so the question becomes ‘are you equipped with the right set of information?’”
However, research from the 2017 Investment Trends SMSF Report also found that the number of SMSFs that actively use an accountant increased 30 per cent over the last decade, but the number who do not use an accountant grew by 130 per cent.
“The needs vary by life stage, but those approaching retirement and in retirement have the view that advisers don't necessarily have the expertise to service them fully and aren't able to provide advice on their broader needs,” added Mr Peker.
“We're seeing increased trust in accountants to help them but they are not necessarily expecting you to do this all as an individual, you can do this in partnership with others.”
Mr Peker said the rise of low cost admin providers was a reason for the decline in the use of accountants but said this provided an opportunity for professionals to demonstrate their added value above admin solutions.
“If you only use a low cost admin provider, you only get that admin function and that's created a really big gap and the opportunity for you is to realign the SMSF market with the value an accountant can add to them, not just the admin stuff because that's been digitised and now it's showing them other ways especially in relation to retirement,” he added.
“What we see is once they become your client, fees are not a very big driver of satisfaction at all, it's more the value they get.”