Almost thirteen years ago Hanrick Curran formed Hanrick Curran Superannuation with the expert guidance of Chris Campbell. We have been providing self-managed superannuation support for our Accounting clients and for external clients of valued financial planning and accounting referral firms over this time. The landscape for providing advice on superannuation in Australia has never been more important with mounting speculation of legislative changes, advancements in technology to drive efficiencies and changes to licensing requirements for accountants regarding superannuation.
At this juncture Chris Campbell has decided to retire from his role in the Hanrick Curran partnership. During his 13 year tenure has he has overseen the professional development of Clive Todd and Frances Hill who are both prepared and capable to steer the business through the next few years.
A change of guard occurs at a time of evolution and opportunity for Hanrick Curran Superannuation. Over the last 6, months Fran has been leading a transition of the firm’s superannuation administration software across to CLASS which will bring increased access and transparency to clients for their self-managed superannuation holdings.
From 1 July, 2016 the new Australian Financial Services Licensing requirements come into effect for Accounting Firms. Hanrick Curran has embraced this and will have a large contingent of Partners, Directors and Associates holding their RG146 qualifications and an Authorised Representative status with Hanrick Curran’s Australian Financial Services License provider.
Speculative legislative changes in superannuation to consider
Speculation continues to mount regarding possible changes to the legislative environment of superannuation. The Government has all but confirmed that there will be changes, but haven’t indicated exactly what those changes may entail.
When speaking at the SMSF Association Annual Conference in February, Treasurer Scott Morrison was vocal that any potential changes would not be retrospective. He also ruled out any changes to the tax treatment of people already in pension phase. Presumably this leaves tax-free withdrawals after age 60 and tax-free earnings while in pension phase safe. This is contrary to Labour’s plan to tax earnings above $75,000 in retirement phase.
However, some of the areas that may be targeted include:
- Concessional contribution limits – potentially reducing the current $30,000 limit (or $35,000 for people aged over 50). Also, potentially a “lifetime limit” brought in to assist people who have had broken or irregular employment histories and not had the ability to sustain regular contributions.
- Contributions tax – currently 15% on concessional contributions, this may change to marginal tax rate less 20%.
- Non-concessional contribution limit – this is currently $180,000 per year but the Government does not want superannuation used as an “estate planning vehicle” so it may be reduced or a “lifetime limit” introduced.
- Transition to Retirement Income Streams (TRIS) – currently allows people between preservation age and 65 to commence drawing on their superannuation and receiving the associated tax benefits. This could potentially be scrapped completely.
Whilst these changes are still speculative, it may be prudent to still consider what changes you might make if some or all of them were to occur. This may include making any planned concessional or non-concessional contributions as soon as possible and commencing pensions especially Transition to Retirement Income Streams. The Federal Budget is due to be handed down on 10 May 2016 but there may even be announcements regarding superannuation prior to this so forming your plans and acting on them promptly would be advisable.
Please note that this publication is intended to provide a general summary and should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal advice.