Super Changes Heighten the Need for Trustee Education

Change in the Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) space is fast-paced and continually evolving. It can be a challenge for investors to keep up to date with the changes occurring each year, month or even day. This is why setting up a SMSF is not for those looking for a “set-and-forget” solution to their retirement savings.

With continuous change comes a real need for ongoing education, such as attending refresher courses designed specifically for SMSF Trustees. Whilst attending courses isn’t compulsory, it is worth being aware that from 1 July 2014, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) implemented an education direction for Trustees of funds that have breached Superannuation Law.

The ATO sometimes requires training for Trustees of funds where compliance issues have been identified. However there really is no such thing as being “too educated”!

We highly recommend that all Trustees take advantage of free courses in order to provide them with a better understanding of the rules for running an SMSF, and what obligations they cannot afford to ignore. Without ongoing education Trustees “don’t know what they don’t know”. In other words, if a Trustee has never heard of the sole purpose test, they aren’t going to be in a position to know that they need to consider the sole purpose test when making an important investment decision.

A better educated Trustee is much more likely to seek advice from a qualified professional.

Trustee education is a way of minimising the chances of super funds being operated incorrectly, leading to further issues such as SIS breaches, audit qualifications, and even ATO penalties. Let’s be honest, nobody wants a non-complying fund!

There are various free online courses available to SMSF Trustees. ATO Approved Education courses include:

  • CPA –CAANZ SMSF Trustee Education
  • SMSF Wisdom
  • SMSF Association Trustee Education Program
  • AMP SMSF Trustee Course

These courses can be found by following the links provided on the ATO website:

https://www.ato.gov.au/super/self-managed-super-funds/administering-and-reporting/how-we-help-and-regulate-smsfs/approved-education-courses/


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