The recent Cooper Review recommendations bring welcome news to Australians with a Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF), according to leading Brisbane Accountancy firm, elliotts.

Managing Partner of elliotts, Matthew Schlyder, said the industry welcomed the advice that Australians will now be protected from receiving advice on their SMSF from service providers who are not licensed or properly qualified.

“It is quite a concern that this is an industry that has not been better regulated in the past. Australians are trusting service providers who are not necessarily adequately skilled to protect what is, effectively, one of their largest assets for when they retire.”

Mr Schlyder said that, according to the Australian Tax Office, there has been significant growth in SMSFs.

“Over the past 11 years, the average size of a SMSF has grown from just under $131,000 to $947,000. The numbers of both funds and members have more than doubled to 423,000 and about 806,500 respectively,” he said.

“This growth has resulted in a need for greater legislation within the sector to offer Australians a secure and accountable retirement.”

Mr Schlyder said the Cooper Review recommended the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority be given greater powers to oversee and promote the efficiency and transparency of the national superannuation system.

“Specifically, recommendations laid out include making sure the Australian Tax Office’s penalty regime is more flexible, tightening the SMSF registration process for members to discourage fraud, prohibiting in-house investment assets and tightening related-party transactions.”

Mr Schlyder said the proposed recommendations are good news for SMSFs, and if they are adopted will improve the growth of the superannuation sector and ensure people only get advice from licensed providers.

“When considering setting up an SMSF people should consult a firm, like elliotts, who specialise in self managed super administration because it’s essential documents such as the trust deed are drawn up correctly,” he said.

“We pride ourselves on keeping abreast of changes to the SMSF industry and continue to provide our clients with the most up to date advice and information in managing their SMSF.”