Lump sum payments gain ground over pensions
The proportion of lump sum payments versus pension payments from SMSFs has jumped in the first quarter of 2018, according to a recent SuperConcepts survey.
The latest SuperConcepts SMSF Investment Patterns Survey, covering 2,600 SMSFs, reveals a spike in the allocation of lump sums versus pension payments, with lump sums now accounting for 19 per cent of payments and pension payments accounting for 81 per cent of payments.
This is a jump from previous quarters when 10 per cent of payments were lump sums and 90 per cent were pension payments.
The survey also indicated that contribution levels declined during the March quarter, with average amounts falling from $3,611 in the December quarter to $3,498 in March 2018.
SuperConcepts executive manager, technical & strategic solutions, Philip La Greca said the large increase in lump sum payments was likely a response to the 2017 super reforms.
“Trustees are looking to manage the new $1.6 million pension transfer balance cap requirements by implementing lump sum benefit payments. This is because lump sum payments taken from pension accounts will be recorded as debits on the members’ transfer balance account,” Mr La Greca said.
The March 2018 quarter also saw a continued rise in popularity of international managed funds, with two investment pooled structures used for accessing international equities ranking in the top five largest investment holdings.
SuperConcepts said the increase could be attributed to the fall in price of the major banks.
Looking ahead to the next quarter, Mr La Greca said there could be an increase in the level of concessional contributions in the June 2018 quarter as this will be the first year that allows anyone under the age of 65 to be able to claim a tax deduction on personal contributions.
“We also expect that the trend towards higher lump sum payments will continue as individuals drawing more than the statutory minimum pension amount will have reached this level and all additional payments will be treated as lump sums,” Mr La Greca 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.