Published 12 Feb 2019
A political party has been formed in response to proposed changes to superannuation legislation in Australia. The Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) & Self Funded Retirees Party has reached the 500 member requirement for federal political party registration, and can now begin choosing their candidates.
Who are the SMSF Party?
The party is led by Grant Abbott, head of super education resource I Love SMSF. Outlined in their constitution, the objective of the party is to "protect the current tax, social security and other benefits" for self-funded retirees and SMSF members. This includes small business owners who are intending on using their business as the main basis for their retirement savings. Another objective of the party is getting SMSF's to invest into infrastructure and assisting the wider Australian community through lending schemes.
What is a self-managed super fund?
According to the Australian Taxation Office, a self-managed super fund is an alternative retirement saving scheme and occurs when the members of a SMSF are also the trustees, and handle the administration or running of the fund for their own benefit. It is illegal to create a self-managed super fund as a ploy to access superannuation for personal spending before retirement. To successfully run a self-managed super fund, you need to have a great knowledge of how to invest in order to get the best returns.
What if a trustee in the self-managed super fund dies?
The Australian Taxation Office explains that trustees in a self-managed super fund can decide who their superannuation benefits go to when they die. Just as it is with having a Will, your super trust deed should outline any plans for your benefits in the event of your death. It is important to remember that this is a binding document that will be followed even if a Will expresses alternative wishes.
You can nominate your super to go to a dependent, such as a spouse or child, or a non-dependent, although there are tax fees involved for those under the latter category. If a nomination or wishes for an individual's super has not been established, the remaining trustee members need to come to an agreement of where the benefits will go, or how they will be divided. Legal action can be avoided by ironing out a binding trust deed that comprehensively states your wishes.
If you believe the super benefits of one of your SMSF trustees has been unfairly divided, or are wondering how to go about the process of distribution, get in touch with our team at Gerard Malouf & Partners Superannuation Lawyers for expert legal advice.