One of the most complex and controversial aspects of both taxation and financial management is superannuation. As a major social policy introduced many years ago to encourage Australians to provide for their retirement rather than rely on government pensions, it continues to grow as both an industry and of course the place where Australian’s store their wealth until they retire.
For many years Australians have turned to their Tax Agent and accountant for advice on super simply because it had such an impact on their tax. Following the scandals that resulted in many Australians suffering huge losses of their savings because of poor financial advice from those selling dubious and unsuitable “investments”, the government set up a financial services regime to protect the consumer by limiting financial advice to those with appropriate qualifications and expertise. Although some accountants chose to also become financial advisors (and obtained the appropriate financial services licence) most preferred to concentrate on tax and accounting and were granted an exemption in the area of superannuation that allowed them to provide advice and set up a Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) for their clients.
After 30th June 2016 the above accountants exemption no longer applies and to advise in the area of superannuation and set up an SMSF we need to have a financial services licence for the area of superannuation. We have that licence and will continue to provide superannuation services to our clients without any interruption or change in what we do.
Although the area of superannuation is quite complex with many rules and changes on a regular basis, for most clients the set appropriate to their specific circumstances is easily explained and we are always ready to talk about what might impact you.
For those looking for additional information there are many sources of the facts (and even more of opinions!) including the Tax Office website (https://www.ato.gov.au/super).
The Piatti Team