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Bill to expand SMSF size tabled

Legislation to increase the maximum number of SMSF members from four to six was today introduced into the federal Parliament, where it now awaits a second reading.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Measures No 1) Bill 2019 was introduced into the House of Representatives by Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert, who said SMSFs were often used by families to manage their savings and investments and the shift to six members would make the funds more flexible for members.

“For families with more than four members, currently the only real options are to create two self-managed superannuation funds – which would incur extra costs – or place their superannuation in a large fund. This limits their choice and flexibility,” Robert said.

He added that allowing groups of five or six people to establish an SMSF supported greater consumer choice for Australians with larger families.

The new law will require changes to the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act, Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 and Superannuation (Unclaimed Money and Lost Members) Act 1999, and will state that under those laws “a superannuation fund can only be an SMSF if it has fewer than seven members”.

The changes, first announced in the 2018/19 budget, will apply from 1 July 2019 if they have gained royal assent at that time.

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