The SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia (SPAA) is urging its members to take an active stance against any changes to superannuation that are being mooted for the May Budget.

Noting that other sectors of the superannuation industry have already voiced their opposition to any changes in the Budget, SPAA CEO Andrea Slattery used the occasion of the association’s 10 th anniversary gala dinner to urge all members to voice their opposition to suggestions that tax concessions to superannuation will be pared back.

“We want our members to be talking to their trustee clients, to continually update them on what’s being discussed, so as to develop a strong, collective voice to retain superannuation as the main savings vehicle for Australians in retirement.

“Let’s not forget the SMSF sector represents nearly one million trustees. Or, put another way, nearly one million voters.” SPAA members span the disciplines of financial planning, accounting, auditing, and the law, and are key advisors to the nearly one million self managed superannuation fund trustees that oversee nearly $500 billion in funds under management.

In her keynote address, Mrs. Slattery said: “The debate has moved from assisting people to be self sufficient in retirement, and what’s required to achieve that, to being a consideration about tax concessions.

“What SPAA wants is for the debate is to get back to what the system was set up to achieve – self-sufficiency in retirement.”

She added that the cost of the superannuation tax concession was measured by Treasury as the tax revenue that the Government had forgone to give people concessions and incentives to contribute money to their retirement savings.

“While the concessions are expensive in terms of tax forgone, from SPAA’s perspective the current argument debate ignores:

o The concessions are essential to the three pillar retirement system;
o Future relief from the age pension;
o Other benefits such as a national pool of domestic savings.
o The potential loss of tax revenue from individuals using other vehicles to save for retirement.”

Mrs. Slattery said that the constant changes to superannuation affected people’s confidence to invest for the long term.

“People need surety to be able to plan for the long term and they need to believe that if they do, there will be a bipartisan political commitment to the system.”

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