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Defined benefit pensions

Despite the rumours, there was no clarification in last weeks Federal Budget on the status of defined benefit pensions (‘DBP’). We understand that Treasury has finalised its review of DBPs and advised the Government accordingly. The Government now has to decide on what to do with DBPs. We eagerly await this news. Superannuation surcharge to [read more]

Defined Benefit Pensions Update

As the 30 June 2005 defined benefit pensions (‘DBP’) deadline approaches, care must be taken in utilising the 30 June transitional relief, as its availability is quite restricted. Treasury should soon be providing its revised options in relation to the types of pensions that can be paid by small funds (funds with fewer than 50 [read more]


From 1 July 2005, most employers will be required to offer their employees choice of superannuation fund. The choice regime will only apply to superannuation guarantee (‘SG’) contributions. Employees will be able to have their SG contributions paid to a fund of their choice, including a self managed superannuation fund (‘SMSF’). Employees Covered Employees Not [read more]

SMSF Deed Issues

There have been substantial reforms in recent times to the rules governing self managed superannuation funds (‘SMSF’). Irrespective of when you last upgraded your trust deeds, we recommend you consider reviewing them with the issues outlined below in mind. With the defined benefit pension (‘DBP’) window of opportunity closing for many on 30 June 2005 [read more]

Buy-Sell Agreements

A Buy-Sell Agreement (‘BSA’) governs a vital aspect of a business relationship. As a bare minimum, a BSA provides for the compulsory acquisition of a co-proprietor’s equity in the business on their death or incapacity. If there is no BSA, then on a proprietor’s death their interest in the business is dealt with under their [read more]

Succession to a trust

Planning succession to the role of appointor is a vital step that needs to be undertaken for each discretionary trust. The appointor holds the ultimate control over the trust as they can hire/fire the trustee. Unless succession is addressed, the trust’s assets may end up in the wrong hands. A decision needs to be made [read more]


A new form for Enduring Powers of Attorney (‘EPOA’) commenced in Victoria on 1 April 2004. An EPOA authorises one or more persons (‘Attorneys’) to undertake any legal or financial transaction on behalf of the person making the power (‘Donor’). The power is enduring as it continues even though the Donor loses legal capacity. However, [read more]

SMSF Trust Deeds

As you may be aware, there have been substantial reforms in recent times impacting self managed superannuation funds (‘SMSF’). Recent changes include the following: Contribution Rules Government ‘co-contributions’ can, from mid 2003, be made to funds with appropriate powers in their trust deed. This provides a potential maximum of $1,500 in co-contributions by the government [read more]

Reserving From May 2004

The May Budget resulted in several significant changes to reserving strategies in superannuation funds. Contributions Reserving The new SIS Regulations preclude the payment of employer contributions directly to a contributions reserve thereby postponing the surcharge liability until subsequent allocation to a member’s account. From 12 May 2004, the trustee of an accumulation fund must generally [read more]

Complying Pensions

New Transitional Relief New transitional relief (‘New TR’) became law on 25 June 2004. This is supplementary to the transitional relief that became law on 12 May 2004 (‘Existing TR’) for SMSFs providing defined benefit pensions (‘DBP’). A DBP is any pension other than an allocated or market linked (aka ‘growth’) pension. Broadly, the New [read more]