SMSF practitioners strong in 2020

SMSF practitioners 2020

The SMSF sector performed well in 2020 on all fronts, including during the heights of the COVID-19 crisis and state lockdowns.

SMSF Association chief executive John Maroney has used his opening speech at the industry body’s National Conference 2021 to note the past 12 months have been a demonstration of the robust nature of the sector and the advice practitioners have provided during very trying times during 2020.

“[During 2020] SMSF specialists faced increased demand for financial advice and often had to do so virtually, especially in Victoria. Many small businesses and trustees needed assistance for the first time to access government support programs as no one was immune to the fallout from COVID,” Maroney told delegates at the virtual event.

“But if the challenges were many and great, so too was the response. As I reflect on 2020, I do so with justified pride at what has been achieved. Much has been demanded and they have not been found wanting.

“All the anecdotal evidence suggests the SMSF sector remains vibrant, stable and, most importantly, an attractive option for people wanting to adopt this superannuation model.”

Association chair Andrew Hamilton noted 2020 had been a year where advocacy took on increased importance and identified this as an area where the industry body had played a significant role.

“We helped achieve a 50 per cent reduction in minimum drawdown payments for account-based pensions till July 2021, ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) relief in providing COVID-related financial advice, in-house asset concessions, LRBA (limited recourse borrowing arrangement) relief, SMSF return lodgement extensions and the FASEA (Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority) CPD (continuing professional development) deadline extension,” Hamilton said.

“Other advocacy submissions included measures to help consumers receive affordable and timely financial advice, and increasing the number of allowable SMSF members from four to six.”

In addition, he highlighted the association’s support activities throughout last year that saw it launch a new website, specialist adviser designation modules and the SMSF Knowledge Compass.

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