SMSFs struggle to keep pace with regulation

Research reveals biggest challenges for SMSF trustees.

SMSF members believe keeping track of changes in super rules and regulations is the hardest aspect of running an SMSF, according to research.

The “2018 Vanguard/Investment Trends Self-Managed Super Fund Reports” revealed 27 per cent of respondents are concerned about changing regulations, up from just over 20 per cent in last year’s survey.

The results come amid significant reforms to the super system in the 2016 federal budget.

Investment Trends head of wealth management research Recep Peker said SMSF members are not only concerned about keeping track of the regulations, but also the impact this may have on their super (21 per cent) and comprehending the rules (17 per cent).

“If you remove the overlaps between those three options, 37 per cent of SMSFs are saying that they find the changes to the rules and regulations one of the hardest aspects of having an SMSF,” Peker told a recent media briefing in Sydney.

SMSF members also cited choosing what to invest in as one of the hardest aspects of running their fund, with 26 per cent finding this a challenge. However, this was down from over 30 per cent last year.

Peker said market uncertainty and a low-yield environment were key drivers for SMSF members finding this a challenge.

“Given a lot of SMSFs are in retirement phase, drawdown phase, there are quite a few who prioritise having a sustainable income stream,” he said.

However, 26 per cent of the almost 1800 survey respondents said there were no factors that fazed them in running their SMSFs.

“The reality of having an SMSF is that it’s actually not that hard for most people,” Peker said.

“So what we’ve done here is we’ve pushed them to think about what is the hardest aspect.”

Accounting fees and charges (16 per cent) and finding time to research investments (13 per cent) were also cited as the hardest aspects of running an SMSF.

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