Opportunity exists for advisers in SMSF changes

A swarm of SMSFs will soon be opting out of current arrangements in favour of retail, corporate or industry funds, presenting an opportunity for financial planners, says one industry consultant.

JWW Consulting head John Wiseman said he expects many SMSFs trustees will make hurried decisions that will adversely impact their retirement aspirations.

“For financial planners, especially those with SMSF expertise, 2017 and beyond will be an opportunity-filled environment and many are already being inundated by trustees seeking professional advice on whether they should close their SMSFs and consider other options,” Mr Wiseman said.

“Unfortunately, instead of structuring their practices in readiness for this inflow of new business enquiries and opportunities, a great number of planners are quite literally sitting on their hands and will miss out.”

Despite the opportunity, Mr Wiseman warns that advisers and dealer groups must familiarise themselves with small APRA funds (SAFs) or risk attracting the ire of ASIC and the ATO.

“When providing financial advice, many planners often overlook SAFs as a superannuation solution as they regard SAFs as a more expensive (although this may well not be the case in the new environment) and less flexible alternative to an SMSF – even though they offer many benefits not found in SMSFs,” Mr Wiseman said.

“There is no doubt that the future for planners is positive but it will require adherence to the strictest and highest levels of process and compliance.”

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