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Individual technical support on SPAA agenda

The SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia (SPAA) is developing a framework for one-on-one technical support for its members, according to its technical director.

The initiative is part of the body’s agenda for 2014 but has been under development for some time.

SPAA director of technical and professional standards Graeme Colley said no deadline had been set for its delivery, but it would be launched as soon as it was formalised and approved.

“We’re looking at how it would work because we see that as being the main value we can provide to them [members] in addition to the education side of things,” Colley told selfmanagedsuper.

“The concern at the moment is some of the liability issues with whether we are providing general advice or personal advice.”

Over the course of the year, SPAA would put most of its effort into addressing the various government inquiries, he said.

“I really think that will be the main aspect of our work this year, as well as dealing with money flows and looking at how we’ll meet those inquiry requirements,” he said, adding the association would continue to ensure SMSFs remained an integral part of the superannuation community.

“Towards the end of the year, we’ve also got the review on pensions and that will be interesting as it will include annuities as well as account-based pensions and how they should be structured, et cetera.

“That’s reasonably interesting from a technical point of view of what the government could go ahead with on that.”

He said he was optimistic the SMSF industry would move forward with regulatory changes, particularly with SMSFs being able to receive electronic messages and payments associated with employer contributions in a format compliant with the superannuation data and payment standard from 1 July.

“With the Australian Taxation Office, we do have these new data standards that are coming through this year and I think that’s the main thing for SMSFs to realise – that if they’re receiving contributions from large employers that they really need to pick up their game,” he said.

“About 150,000 funds will be impacted by it, so they need to understand what that is.

“In regards to the other technical aspects, hopefully a lot of that will settle down and I suspect that will happen after some meetings with the Minister [Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos].”

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