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ASIC, ATO, Compliance, Regulation

Evidence needed to back SMSF review calls

SMSF; review

Calls for a review of the SMSF sector need to be backed with evidence, the SMSF Association has stated, pointing out four reviews have yet to flag major concerns.

Any calls for another review into the SMSF sector need to be accompanied by clear evidence there are systemic problems that require deep examination, the SMSF Association has said.

Association head of policy Jordan George said the constant calls for a further review were unnecessary given four major inquiries since 2010 had raised few issues with SMSFs and did not make any significant recommendations for changes.

“The SMSF sector has been reviewed four times, through the Cooper and Murray reviews and the productivity and royal commissions, and the call for yet another review is unneeded,” George said.

His comments came in response to a recent claim from Sunsuper chief executive Scott Hartley that a review was necessary due to “misconduct and mismanagement” in the SMSF sector.

“The criticism is often about unlicensed or inappropriate advice, often related to property purchases, but this matter is on ASIC’s agenda and we support the work they are doing on the fringes of the sector where this type of advice is being offered,” George said.

“The ATO is also being more proactive with SMSF trustees about their investments and the need for diversification, but none of these matters require a review and it is the role of the regulators to deal with these areas.”

He said issues around SMSF balances and property holdings have been used as a catalyst to call for more reviews, but no systemic problems have been presented.

“Our position is the reviews have been done and issues on the fringes have been identified, and we are supportive of the work of the regulators, but if people believe there is a need for a full-scale review, then they need to present the evidence for that review.”

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