Gatekeepers’ role vital to health of SMSF sector
5 September 2013: The SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australian (SPAA) today welcomed ASIC’s acknowledgement of the importance of professional service providers to the SMSF industry. Jordan George, SPAA Senior Manager Technical and Policy, says: “ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer noted the ‘critically important’ role of SMSF professionals when addressing the Tax Institute National Superannuation Conference, reinforcing the vital role our members play in the ongoing health and stability of the sector. “Indeed,
his comments are tacit acknowledgement of the fact that SMSF professionals can be viewed as a discreet professional sector. “SMSFs are now the largest single pool of super savings in the industry accounting for around one third of superannuation assets in nearly half a million funds nearing one million members.” George says that SPAA is ‘at one’ with Mr Tanzer’s comments that it is essential that investors can choose how to invest their retirement savings and SMSFs are only suitable for certain investors. “Recent ATO SMSF statistics show steady but not excessive growth in new SMSFs. This is illustrative of the current health of the sector and there is little sign of a rush into SMSFs that has concerned some commentators. “Equally, fears have been raised by some about risks of over-exuberant move into property assets within the SMSF sector, but again figures show a reality of a fairly steady 3-4% growth in this asset class since restrictions were lifted in 2007. Much of this is understood to be due to increase in property values. “The sector is in good shape and official recognition of the central role of good gate keeping in this state of affairs is both appreciated and welcome by the accountants, auditors, planners and others who perform this multi-faceted role,” George says.