The role of an SMSF Trustee is perpetual, with things to consider all year round.

As we kick start the 2013/14 financial year, here’s a summary of what Trustees can expect throughout the financial year.

July
14th - Pay as You Go Payment Summaries must be distributed to pension members under age 60 – to be included as income in the personal income tax return
28th - Lodgment deadline June Quarter Activity Statements

Funds in Pension mode

It’s time to review your new minimum/maximum pension figures for the 2013/14 financial year. Whilst you won’t have exact figures until your year-end financial statements are complete, this is an ideal time to review and change any periodic pension payments you may have set up.

Transition to Retirement Pension Recipients should review their accumulation and pension account balances and consider a consolidation (stop/re-start) of the pension and/or the establishment of a second pension if more favorable.

Contribution Confirmations

It’s time to review your member contributions for 2012/13 and your Section 290-170 Notice of Deductibility to provide to your SMSF Accountant. These notices are an essential part of annual return preparation so funds that are likely to receive a tax refund should complete their paperwork as early as possible so the refund can be accessed and invested sooner rather than later.

Consider Super Splitting

If your SMSF trust deed allows superannuation splitting, you can boost the superannuation balance of your spouse by up to 85% of your yearly taxable contributions. With the Government looking to target members with larger balances, action to equalise member interests now may be a prudent move for the future. Please note superannuation splitting does not alter the contribution amount originally made by each member, and contribution limits still apply.

Consider Insurance

SMSF Trustees are now required to consider their insurance needs as part of their overall investment strategy.

August

14th - Lodgment of PAYG Summaries and statements to the ATO

October

28th - Lodgment deadline September Quarter Activity Statements

December

Financial markets are generally quiet as we near the Christmas/Holiday period. Are there any buying opportunities?

January

Investment Strategy

As it’s a brand new year, it’s an ideal time for Trustees to review the fund’s investment strategy and investments.

  • What are your overall investment objectives? Have you previously identified your desired rate of return? Did your fund meet your target for the 12/13 financial year?
  • What is your fund/member risk profile? Is it still appropriate?
  • Are you happy with your current portfolio holdings and your fund diversity?
  • Are there any other asset classes worthwhile contemplating for your fund? For example, is the property market an investment opportunity in the year ahead?
  • Is your current asset class appropriate for current financial markets?
  • What is your timeframe to retirement?
  • Are you on track with your retirement savings?

Nomination of Beneficiary Document

Your nomination of beneficiary document is vital as it indicates who will receive your superannuation balance in the event of your death. Is your nomination form binding? Binding nominations that are not perpetual nominations need to be reviewed every 3 years. Is the recipient on your nomination form still your intended beneficiary?

February

28th - Tax Lodgment deadline for new SMSFs established in the 2012/13 financial year
28th - Lodgment deadline December Quarter Activity Statements

March

Have you finalized your 2012/13 financial statements? If not, you’re nearing the lodgment deadline and it’s time to follow up your Accountant/Administrator.

April

28th - Lodgment deadline March Quarter Activity Statements

May

15th - Tax Lodgment deadline for all other SMSFs

It’s time to start your year end planning.

Contributions

  • What are your member contributions year to date?
  • Have you maximised your concessional cap?
  • Ensure you’re not likely to exceed your contributions cap 
  • The Government Co-contribution – if eligible have you made a contribution to take advantage of this?
  • Bring Forward Rule – To Trigger or not to trigger? Is it an appropriate time to make a $450,000 non-concessional contribution and take advantage of the ‘bring forward rule’?


Self Employed

It’s time to review your business financials and decide whether and how much you wish to contribute to your fund prior to 30 June.

Pensions

  • Are you aged 55? Can you benefit from starting a transition to retirement pension?
  • Are you aged 60+? Can you benefit from starting an account based pension or transition to retirement pension?

Government Benefits

Are you eligible for the government aged pension or commonwealth seniors healthcare card?

June

Funds in Pension mode

What were your minimum/maximum pension requirements for the financial year? Have you met your pension obligations? If not, it’s time to make a final withdrawal


Summary

Self managed super funds continue to be the fastest growing sector in the superannuation industry. With a little effort and a lot of control, SMSF trustees stand to maximise their retirement savings with the do-it-yourself approach.

Olivia Long