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SISFA to lobby for 2018 super extension

The Self-managed Independent Superannuation Funds Association (SISFA) will call on the government to defer the 1 July 2017 start date for super measures included in the federal budget to allow for a sensible implementation period.

“The government wants to get this through in the next sitting of Parliament and before Christmas in order to start on 1 July next year – that’s their intention; to give everyone six months,” SISFA managing director Mike Goodall told selfmanagedsuper.

“Our position, for a number of reasons, is why not make it effective from 1 July 2018 because, for example, people are going to get to 30 June next year and need to work out the account balance of their pension account, which can take up to 60 days, and then have to comply with the new regulations that will already be in force.

“But I see a whole period of argy bargy once the legislation has been introduced in terms of what it actually means, as well as needing to change systems, so that could take everyone up to April, which wouldn’t give you enough time.

“So we’re exploring lobbying options at the moment.”

The new superannuation measures and their repercussions will be explored in detail at the 8th Annual SISFA SMSF Forum on 18 November in Melbourne.

Goodall warned the measures were significant changes to super and therefore required sufficient time to be understood and then implemented correctly by SMSF practitioners and trustees.

“If the government defers to 1 July 2018, there are 20 months of work to be done in the industry to try to figure this all out and apply it,” he said.

“It’s not going to get quieter any time soon. This is going to keep everyone in the industry very, very busy, so I think there’s an argument for delaying this until 1 July 2018 as it allows people to get their balances calculated for 30 June next year to [then have the super measures] apply from the year after – it will give people the opportunity to really see how this will work.”

It was unfortunate the industry was not given more time as the political expediency was around the budget issue and not around making super work better.

“SISFA doesn’t have a problem with what the government is trying to do – focusing on a more reasonable level per pension generation,” he said.

“But we do have a problem with the speed, the inability to have the whole industry consult on this and the possibility of unintended consequences as a result of the complexity and the speed.”

Earlier this month, the SMSF Owners’ Alliance said it recommended a period of at least 12 months for implementation of the new measures.

More information about the SISFA SMSF Forum can be found here.

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