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Uni unveils SMSF retirement course

The University of Adelaide today announced it has teamed up with SMSF retirement specialist Accurium to launch Australia’s first SMSF retirement-specific course for SMSF practitioners.

The one-day SMSF Retirement Essentials course will be offered in Adelaide as well as Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, with the inaugural course due to be held on 16 March in Adelaide.

It was developed by Accurium in collaboration with the University of Adelaide and will be part of the university’s International Centre for Financial Services (ICFS) program offerings.

“We’re committed to the development and delivery of award and non-award courses grounded in practical outcomes to help students and practitioners meet industry standards,” University of Adelaide ICFS director David White said.

Accurium chief executive Tracy Williams added: “Our practical and working knowledge of the market combined with our strong research and insights capability in the SMSF retirement sector will provide the tools for SMSF practitioners to better meet the needs of clients.”

The non-award course will support SMSF practitioners, including accountants and advisers, to develop strategies to convert their clients’ SMSFs into sustainable cash flows for retirement.

The course covers the role of SMSFs in retirement, retirees’ risks and needs, cash flow, capital adequacy, social security and retirement portfolio construction.

It has accreditation for continuing professional development (CPD) from the SMSF Association and Financial Planning Association of Australia.

The course can also be accredited for CPD as determined by the individual for CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Accurium also unveiled new research that found over a 10-year period, an SMSF using an income-bucketing strategy could provide a median balance 5 per cent higher than a traditional balanced portfolio.

The firm’s latest SMSF retirement insights report, “Pension strategies for SMSF retirees”, used the company’s retirement adequacy model to assess three leading strategies for retirement: income bucketing, income layering and the safe withdrawal rate.

It found for the typical SMSF at retirement with a balance of $1.1 million, income bucketing could provide a balance $43,000 higher than a traditionally balanced SMSF portfolio over a 10-year period.

“In positive investment markets income bucketing for SMSFs is even more promising,” Williams said.

“When markets perform well, the typical SMSF using income bucketing could see their SMSF balance up by $99,000, or 6 per cent higher than a traditional balanced portfolio.”

Income bucketing segments assets into different buckets for short and long-term investing.

Bucketing can help alleviate market and sequencing risk by using assets that provide a secure income to lock in future spending, while allowing time for growth assets to provide higher long-term expected results.

The research also identified that for many retirees, income layering, which blends guaranteed lifetime income and market-linked investments, could be used to provide confidence levels about their retirement income that were just shy of perfect.

That type of strategy could give a 99 per cent probability of securing SMSF retirees’ essential spending needs, it said.

When it came to the safe withdrawal rate, the report found it was of little practical relevance to the majority of Australian retirees.

It concluded the best option for SMSFs might be blended strategies, which incorporate market-linked investments for growth and guaranteed income options for income security, and those strategies were gaining traction.

“There are a number of different strategies that can be used by SMSF retirees and there is a clear opportunity for SMSF practitioners to help their clients pick the right strategy for their risk appetite and objectives,” Williams said.

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