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Temporary Early Access to superannuation –– COVID-19

Temporary Early Access to superannuation –– COVID-19

Background The Australian Government’s coronavirus economic stimulus package includes several options for individuals to obtain access to money in the short-term if they are financially impacted by coronavirus. One option is to allow a member to access up to $20,000 of their superannuation benefits before ‘retirement’ or attaining age 65. In these uncertain times that [read more]

SMSFs and rent relief due to COVID-19

SMSFs and rent relief due to COVID-19

SMSFs that own property are facing the prospect of tenants falling behind in their rent payments and their other obligations under the lease due to the economic stress arising from COVID-19. Australian states and territories will put a six-month moratorium on evictions for both residential and commercial tenants during the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Scott [read more]

SMSF succession –– minimising risk given COVID-19

SMSF succession –– minimising risk given COVID-19

In recent months, we have seen a significant increase in succession planning queries and assignments where we have been asked to provide advice and/or documents, including binding death benefit nominations (‘BDBNs’), reversionary pensions, planning for control of an SMSF and implementing timely member exit strategies for those who may be left with a limited time [read more]

Accessing super before retirement part 1: temporary incapacity

Accessing super before retirement part 1: temporary incapacity

Background There are several methods that a member can to access their superannuation ‘legitimately’ before retirement. Lately, advisers, self managed superannuation fund (‘SMSF’) trustees and members are very keen to learn more on this topic given the financial stress caused by the recent bushfires, floods, COVID-19 pandemic and reduced business/economic activity.  Further, the Australian Taxation [read more]

What is a reversionary pension?

What is a reversionary pension?

There is a little known rule that can have huge implications for SMSFs, particularly when it comes to reversionary pensions. This article provides the crucial ‘must know’ details. What is a ‘reversionary pension’? The ATO describes a reversionary pension as follows, without actually using the term ‘reversionary’ (Taxation Ruling TR 2013/5 [29]): A superannuation income [read more]

SMSFs & Family Law Super Splitting

SMSFs & Family Law Super Splitting

Introduction A superannuation interest is considered ‘property’ for the purposes of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (‘FLA’). Thus, it may be split in a similar manner as the parties’ other assets in response to a relationship breakdown. Indeed, the superannuation splitting laws extend to all de facto relationships in all states and territories, except [read more]

What limits SMSF advisers should be aware of when providing advice

What limits SMSF advisers should be aware of when providing advice

Overview This articles examine what advice SMSF advisers can and cannot provide without ‘stepping over the line’ especially in providing taxation, financial product or legal advice which they may not be permitted to provide. For example, an adviser providing legal advice or services (eg, preparing an SMSF deed update, binding death benefit nomination (‘BDBN’) or [read more]

Reversionary pensions v. BBDNs: advisers’ risks

Reversionary pensions v. BBDNs: advisers’ risks

By Bryce Figot, Special Counsel ([email protected]), and Daniel Butler, Director ([email protected]), DBA Lawyers Introduction There has been a number of commentators suggesting that if a pension reversion nomination conflicts with a binding death benefit nomination (‘BDBN’), the pension reversion nomination prevails. While we acknowledge the answer is not necessarily black and white; as it depends [read more]

Investment strategies –– what SMSF trustees must do

Investment strategies –– what SMSF trustees must do

Daniel Butler, Director ([email protected]), and Bryce Figot, Special Counsel ([email protected]), DBA Lawyers This article provides some background and some key points to SMSF investment strategies. What is an investment strategy? An investment strategy is a plan for making, holding and realising assets consistent with the investment objectives adopted by an SMSF trustee. An investment strategy [read more]

Reversionary pension v BDBN: which one wins?

Reversionary pension v BDBN: which one wins?

By Bryce Figot, Special Counsel, DBA Lawyers and Daniel Butler, Director There is a misconception that reversionary pension documentation will always apply before a binding death benefit nomination. If the SMSF deed is silent on the question, it can be entirely possible at times that the binding death benefit nomination (‘BDBN’) will apply before any [read more]