Labor’s franking credit policy a “cruel blow” to retirees

Labor’s policy to stop most refunds of franking credits is cruel blow to retirees, and fails four tests of public policy, says the Alliance for a Fairer Retirement System.

The Alliance for a Fairer Retirement System says Labor’s franking credits measure fails four tests of sound public policy – adequacy, sustainability, certainty, and “most importantly” fairness.

Labor facing backlash on franking credits from ‘grey army’

Labor is facing a backlash on its policy of stopping most refunds of franking credits from the “grey army” of over 1 million self-funded retirees, Advance Australia has claimed.

Advance Australia, sometimes described as the conservative answer to GetUp!, has so far received over 6,500 signatures on its petition against Labor’s policy and has a target of 10,000.

$500,000 minimum for cost-effective SMSFs is “misleadingly high”

A threshold of $500,000 below which SMSFs are likely to not be cost competitive with larger funds is “misleadingly high”, according to SuperConcepts.

The Productivity Commission, in its recently released report on the super system, found that larger SMSFs were broadly competitive in terms of investment performance with large APRA-regulated funds. However “many” SMSFs with balances under $500,000 “delivered materially lower returns on average than larger SMSFs”, said the Commission in its report.

Future of SMSFs borrowing with LRBAs still unclear

The future of borrowing in SMSFs, using Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements (LRBAs), remains unclear but could be settled by the upcoming election.

The Productivity Commission, in its recently released report into efficiency and competitiveness in the super system, said that borrowing in SMSFs is not currently a “material systemic risk”, but that “active monitoring” is warranted – including by the Council of Financial Regulators. The Commission didn’t recommend a change to LRBAs, but have recommendations around SMSF advice.

Cost of a comfortable retirement rises modestly in September 2018 quarter

The cost of living for retirees rose modestly in the September 2018 quarter, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has found.

Based on the ASFA Retirement Standard the cost of a ‘comfortable’ retirement, at age 65, for couples is now $60,843 (up 0.4% from the previous quarter) and $43,200 for singles (up 0.6%).

Productivity Commission recommends only minor SMSF changes

The Productivity Commission has released the report of its inquiry into the efficiency and competitiveness of the superannuation system and if new ways to allocate default funds are needed. The report recommends new workers are allocated to a default fund once – after being shown a list of up to 10 top funds. Other recommendations include changes to advice around SMSF.