Contributions rules have upside: ipac

SMSF advisers should not feel limited by the contributions rules in the latest super reforms as the changing settings still provide opportunities for clients, according to ipac private client adviser Peter Crump.

Speaking at the SMSF Association National Conference 2018 in Sydney last week, Crump encouraged practitioners to make an effort to fully explore and understand the opportunities from the contribution changes in conjunction with the best interest duty obligation.

“Think about the opportunities that come with all these changes and don’t feel constrained by saying: ‘This is what I have to do,’” he told delegates.

“Instead say: ‘What can I do?’

“Go through your strategies and figure out how you can use the existing rules and new rules – the combinations of rules – in a way that may not have yet been envisaged but puts our clients in a better position.”

He listed the home downsizer contribution, the sale of the family home and estate planning, in-specie contributions after age 75, the timing of contributions around total super balances, contribution splitting and benefits for small income earners as key strategies to consider.

“It’s an opportunity for us to review the strategies we have in place: to reflect upon whether the strategies are still fit-for-purpose and to identify new strategies that are likely to be beneficial going forward,” he said.

“What we’re doing with super contributions should be in the interest of our clients and to make their lives better because within the legislative framework there are legislative opportunities that we have.

“While our clients might be affected by such changes, we also need to look out for ways to mitigate or minimise the effect of these changes in order to improve the position of our clients.

“Let’s see how we can achieve a better outcome. It’s never been a better time to be in super.”

He also noted while advisers were fortunate to have regular contact with clients, accountants mainly transacted at year-end and therefore had to incorporate proactive ongoing discussion points during the year.

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