2016 “looms as a year for change” for SMSF advisors, according to Jordan George, SMSF Association Head of Policy.
Mr George told the SMSF Association state technical conference in Sydney that the key issues for advisors, and their clients, in the short term were the changes to the concessional and non-concessional contributions caps and $1.6 million Transfer Balance Cap announced in the Budget.
“Above and beyond the Budget changes, ongoing scrutiny by the ATO of arrangements involving SMSFs to inappropriately minimise tax, and the requirements to ensure that SMSF-related party borrowings are held at an arm’s length basis, require advisors to ensure they are at the top of their game,” he told the conference.
“In addition to these technical issues, advisors should soon see new legislation from the Government to lift the educational and ethical standards of financial advisors.”
“These changes will require all advisors to have a degree or equivalent standard education and meet new ethical obligations.”
He said now is a critical time for SMSF advisors, and so it is important that they are part of a “credible association”.
“We are the only Association that has both accreditation and qualification programs in SMSF and complex tax and retirement advice. You can choose a career in SMSF advice either through the Association or continue your higher education through the graduate certificate in SMSF advice at the University of Adelaide or Kaplan Professional. And we’re the only Association that has an SMSF Audit specialisation.”