The number of Australians setting up their own super funds has been growing strongly since changes to the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act in 1999 allowed for SMSFs to be controlled by trustees rather than the government. There has been an even greater growth since the 2008 GFC when many Australian’s saw their superannuation balances in public offer funds decline. Damaging revelations from the financial services Royal Commission regarding lack of transparency of superannuation funds will undoubtedly prompt even more people to go down the SMSF path. In this article for SelfManagedSuper magazine, Lifespan CEO, Eugene Ardino, discusses the concerns raised by ASIC around the lack of financial literacy and understanding of the legal responsibilities of running a super fund among many SMSF trustees. He also outlines what financial advisers can do at the outset to protect themselves and their client when starting an SMSF.
Clients should also be made aware they – not their financial adviser, accountant or lawyer –are legally responsible for their SMSF. A few simple questions during the initial interview will quickly determine whether a person has the requisite financial literacy to carry out the legal responsibilities of an SMSF trustee.
Read the full article in SelfManagedSuper magazine.