SMSF Loan Arrangements that Contravene Super Laws. SCAM ALERT


With low interest rates and a struggling economy people are often tempted by early release or get rich quick schemes that are promoted on glossy brochures and may look genuine but can destroy your retirement if they go wrong.

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This is an excerpt from a speech by Matthew Bambrick, the ATO’s Assistant Commissioner for SMSF Segment of Superannuation to the Tax Institute.

SMSF loan arrangements that contravene super laws are also on our radar at the moment. We’re concerned that some organisations are promoting arrangements where SMSF assets provide members with a current-day benefit using vehicles such as pooled investment trusts. Put simply, an organisation invites SMSF members to invest their fund’s assets in a pooled investment trust type of product where the scheme operator draws a commission and if this condition is met, monies from the trust can be accessed as a loan by the fund’s members.

This is a simple form of such an arrangement but there are variations such as offering fund members’ relatives an opportunity to apply for a partial mortgage to cover the value of an asset and then invite their family to use their SMSF benefits to invest in a pooled investment trust. Their relatives can then be granted a second mortgage to further finance their investment.

We encourage anyone who has been approached to invest their SMSF monies into a trust, company or investment product and then offered some or all of that money back as a loan, to seek independent, professional advice before proceeding.

Keep an eye on our website as we’ll be publishing more information about these arrangements in a future edition of SMSF News

So we are back to the basic advice that if it seems to good to be true then it is very likely to be a scam or carry high risk of penalties and drawing the ire of the ATO.

If in doubt contact a SMSF Specialist member of the SMSF Association in your local area or drop me a line with some detail for an initial feedback. We can usually easily spot a scam

I will also be updating readers on any scams or “arrangements” that they should be aware of. If it sounds too good to be true then Google the promoters and search for “complaint” “alert” “scam” associated with that name.

The full transcript of the speech covering a number of relevant issues is available here

Are you looking for an advisor that will keep you up to date and provide guidance and tips like in this blog? then why now contact me at our Castle Hill or Windsor office in Northwest Sydney to arrange a one on one consultation. Just click the Schedule Now button up on the left to find the appointment options.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

SMSF Specialist Adviser 

 Follow SMSFCoach on Twitter Liam Shorte on Linkedin NextGen Wealth on Facebook   

Verante Financial Planning

Tel: 02 98941844, Mobile: 0413 936 299

PO Box 6002 BHBC, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

5/15 Terminus St. Castle Hill NSW 2154

Corporate Authorised Representative of Viridian Select Pty Ltd ABN 41 621 447 345, AFSL 51572

This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. This website provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Is your SMSF lending money to someone?


Is that loan in your SMSF’s best interest?

The Tax Office issued an information sheet on their website last November warning trustees about the perils of lending an SMSF’s funds to the wrong person. This includes your own business, someone who advises you or a family member or friend.

An all too common occurrence is the practice adopted by some people of withdrawing funds from their SMSF to “temporarily” help keep their business afloat when cash flow is tight.

Has your SMSF loaned money? If so, you need to make sure the loan terms comply with the law and are in the best interests of your funds sole purpose test which is to provide for your retirement.

The boys and girls at the ATO are rightly concerned some trustees are lending money from their fund to people who provide advice or assist in the running of the fund. This may not be in the best interest of your SMSF, and may place your retirement savings at risk. If someone is recommending you set up a SMSF and then to lend them or a related party money for a development, you have to ask yourself in who’s best interest are they working? Might be time to scrutinise the minute details of this “too good to be true one time only opportunity”.

So when would a loan agreement not be seen to be in the best interest of your SMSF ? Basically, when you have given discount loan rates or favourable terms – this could have serious consequences. Here is one example they give:

 when you have given discount loan rates or favourable terms – this could have serious consequences. In addition to putting your member’s benefits at risk, your SMSF could be found to be non-complying and would, therefore, not qualify for concessional tax rates.

They advise that before lending any money, you should consider your fund’s investment strategy and determine whether the investment is appropriate and, in particular, whether lending money to people providing you with services or advice is in the best long-term interests of your SMSF.

If you are not sure about making these types of investments choices, they recommend that you seek advice before entering into such arrangements.

If you still decide to go ahead and lend money from your SMSF, the ATO advise that “you should:

  • write an appropriate loan agreement and have it signed by all the parties involved
  • ensure the loan agreement specifies all the terms of the loan, such as:
    • what the security for the loan
    • what is the repayment period
    • when repayments will be paid
    • the amount of the repayments
    • the interest rate
  • ensure the interest and repayments are received by the fund according to the loan agreement
  • take appropriate action to protect the fund’s investment if the loan agreement is not followed
  • ensure the loan is sensible and does not put the members’ benefits at risk
  • ensure that the conditions of the loan agreement do not provide the borrower with favourable terms.

Remember that you are the one ultimately responsible for running your SMSF, and you must make sure you understand your duties, responsibilities and obligations.”

With regards to taking funds out to help your business, you need to firstly know that should the business go under that your Superannuation is in most cases protected in bankruptcy from creditors so you should be careful about accessing this protected asset.

Regardless of how much you trust a person even if they are your accountant, lawyer, financial planner, mortgage broker or best mate, you need to get independent third-party advice. Don’t be embarrassed about not completely trusting the promoters scheme as it is often too late later to get your funds back and hindsight is a cruel tormentor when facing loved ones having lost your retirement nest egg.

For further information on the issues raised in this blog please contact our Castle Hill SMSF Centre or Windsor Financial Planning Office.

I hope this guidance  has been helpful and please take the time to comment. Feedback always appreciated. Please reblog, retweet, put on your Facebook page if you found information helpful.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

SMSF Specialist Adviser 

 Follow SMSFCoach on Twitter Liam Shorte on Linkedin NextGen Wealth on Facebook   

Verante Financial Planning

Tel: 02 98941844, Mobile: 0413 936 299

PO Box 6002 BHBC, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

5/15 Terminus St. Castle Hill NSW 2154

Corporate Authorised Representative of Viridian Select Pty Ltd ABN 41 621 447 345, AFSL 51572

This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. This website provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

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