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How the ‘Protect Your Super’ changes will affect you

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A number of changes to superannuation will come into effect from 1 July 2019. The ‘Protect Your Superannuation’ Bill passed through Parliament in February and forms part of the Government’s package of reforms that were announced in the 2018-19 Federal Budget.

The new legislation is designed to protect Australians’ superannuation savings by ensuring that their super balance isn’t negatively affected by unnecessary fees on insurance policies. Changes that may affect you are;

Insurance:
For those who do not act before 1 July, your insurance may be deemed inactive. Under the Protect Your Superannuation Bill, super accounts that have been inactive for 16 months will have their automatic insurance cancelled. These inactive accounts will also be transferred to the ATO. Members will be able to ‘opt-in’ to protect their insurance cover and stop their account from being inactive, but this must be done before 30 June. Once the regime has commenced, trustees will need to ensure that they have ongoing arrangements in place to identify members who risk becoming inactive.

Ban on exit fees:
The new laws will remove the need to pay exit fees from all superannuation accounts. Trustees that are currently charging exit fees will need to review the current fee structure in order to implement any necessary disclosure and product changes. This will ensure that exit fees will not be charged on or after the 1 July 2019, the date these changes will commence.

While the policy changes are intended to protect consumers, there may be alarming consequences for those who may not realise their account is inactive and assume that their insurance cover will continue. All superannuation trustees and members will need to review these changes to ensure they are meeting all necessary obligations. If further help is needed about how the changes will impact you, consult your financial advisor.

What and when you need to report in your SMSF

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The event-based reporting (EBR) framework for self-managed super funds (SMSFs) commenced on 1 July 2018. This system allows the ATO to administer the transfer balance cap. Reporting under the EBR framework commences when your first member begins a retirement phase income stream. The transfer balance account report (TBAR) is then used to report certain events and is separate from the SMSF annual return.

An SMSF must report events that affect a member’s transfer balance, these should include details of:

  • Pre-existing income streams being received on 30 June 2017 that;
    • continued to be paid to them on or after 1 July 2017.
    • were in retirement phase on or after 1 July 2017.
  • New retirement phase and death benefit income streams including value and type.
  • Limited recourse borrowing arrangement (LRBA) payments, including the value and date of each relevant payment, if entered into on or after 1 July 2017.
  • Compliance with a commutation authority issued by the ATO.
  • Personal injury contributions.
  • Commutations of retirement phase income streams that occur on or after 1 July 2017.

Events that an SMSF do not need to report include:

  • Pension payments made on or after 1 July 2017.
  • Investment earnings and losses that occurred on or after 1 July 2017.
  • When an income stream ceases because the interest has been exhausted.
  • The death of a member.

All SMSFs must report events that affect their members’ transfer balances. If no event occurs, there is nothing to report.

Timeframes for reporting are determined by the total superannuation balances of an SMSF’s members. In the events affecting members’ transfer balances, reports must be made within 28 days after the end of the quarter in which the event occurs. Unless a member has exceeded their cap and the fund needs to report an event sooner, the first due date for the lodgment of TBARs is 28 October.

Startup essentials to help your business succeed

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Starting your own business can be as daunting as it is exciting. There are many aspects that need to be considered when making the change to becoming your own boss. Here are a few of the essentials to get you moving.

Commit to an idea:
The possibilities of what you can achieve are vast but for a successful business, you need to narrow your scope. Entrepreneurship is about committing your time and money to a plan you believe in, so choose your business wisely and devote yourself to making it a success.

Plan:
Do not go into a business blindly, as a good idea can only get you so far. A business model shows possible investors that you are serious and gives you a blueprint for how to run the business going forward. Look at elements such as start-up costs, risk assessment, hiring and outsourcing when making your strategic, operational and financial plans.

Be in the know:
Having an idea is all well and good but if you do not have the industry knowledge to back it up, your dream may be over sooner than you think. Experiencing an industry firsthand will assist with practical knowledge whilst research can help on a technical side. When you’re creating your business plan, you need to honestly assess your own skills and expertise so you can identify where you could use assistance.

Protect yourself:
Insurance and trademarks are essential to protecting your property, both physical and intellectual. Though this may not be an exciting step when creating a new business, it is your responsibility as a new business owner to manage the risks associated with your business. Implementing the proper insurance ensures your company is protected in the event of disaster or litigation.

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