Australian SMSF Members Association (ASMA) members are surveyed on a regular basis to get their views on specific subjects that relate to their SMSF. The surveys are quick but comprehensive and on average we receive 250-plus responses from each survey, and that is over a short 24-hour period. It is clear ASMA members are engaged and realise it is crucial for their voice to be heard.
Our recent March survey came back with the following results:
1. In terms of your SMSF, are you more confident with an Abbott coalition government dealing with SMSF laws and rules compared to the previous Labor government?
Out of 285 responses, 78.25 per cent of ASMA members said they feel more confident under the Abbott government.
2. The government has ruled out any interference or review of the SMSF lending rules while some associations are seeking the rules to be reviewed? What are your thoughts on this?
We received in excess of 280 responses to this question and a wide range of views, some of which we have detailed below:
- The lending rules were intended to cover the Telstra instalment warrants and are open to abuse by property promoters not covered by the investment advice rules. The rules need reviewing before there is a problem that may result in a knee-jerk reaction impacting on all SMSFs regardless of their ability to properly manage their investments.
- Consistency of policy is just as critical as the policies themselves. Super is a multi-decade investment decision and long-term planning cannot be done effectively if the goal posts keep moving.
- I think simply the money belongs to you and you should be able to borrow against assets. The same rules should apply for the wholesale funds as they do for SMSFs. As an individual who has an SMSF, I would not want to make a decision which was going to cost me money. Generally I think people who have SMSFs are informed financially and stay proactive in relation to their fund’s assets and money. The government will be looking to SMSFs to collect the 15 per cent tax on money going to over 60 year olds.
- I agree with the coalition policy of deregulation and eliminating red tape where possible. This statement is in line with that policy. I support this statement.
- Again, vested interests conspire against SMSFs because there is little money for the big players in SMSFs.
3. SMSF trustees hold a significant proportion of Qantas shareholding. What are your views in relation to the government lending a helping hand by way of changing the sale act to allow more foreign ownership?
We received in 277 responses to this question and a wide range of views, all very passionate.
- I believe the government must provide an environment that allows Qantas, with competent management and circumstances that are the same as for all Australian businesses, to thrive even if that requires majority foreign ownership. Note: I do not hold any Qantas shares.
- What fool would still hold Qantas shares after the attempt at selling at $5-plus years ago with no dividends and even Warren Buffett not into airlines. On the sale act, yes, amend it to allow foreign ownership.
- I do not agree at all that the Qantas Sale Act be changed to allow more foreign ownership. Qantas should remain majority Australian owned and should be supported as such given its iconic status. For Qantas to be controlled by foreign companies or states is unconscionable.
- I never thought Qantas was a very good proposition for my SMSF. As an Australian I think we need a viable locally controlled airline. So some intervention should be taken to protect the long-term operation of Qantas.