Seeking advice makes people proactive on super ‚Äď SMSF clients even more so.


According to new research released by Mercer, superannuation fund members who obtain advice are twice as likely to make additional contributions,.

The research ‚Äď released in August 2012 – said those receiving advice were also twice as likely to make a beneficiary update and five times more likely to make an insurance underwriting enquiry. (source: Money Management article on Mercer study 07/08/2012)

I will go a step further and say that of all superannuation sectors it is SMSF¬†members and trustees who take the bull by the horns and make the most of the strategies available to them after receiving competent advice from a SMSF Specialist Advisor‚ĄĘ. they start an SMSF to have control and flexibility but after taking advice :

  1. They are more likely to use a Transition to retirement strategy earlier after getting advice
  2. They consider retaining insurance in a separate fund to save fees or transfer the cover rather than simply letting it lapse on rollover.
  3. They are more proactive about seeking out lost super funds
  4. They are more likely to have multiple pensions segregating tax free amounts for estate planning.
  5. They are focused on maximising the potential of the concessionally tax structure by investing in high yield and highly franked investments.
  6. They are more likely to adjust their portfolios tactically to take advantage of the change in market cycles.
  7. They are more focused on getting the best rate for their cash and fixed interest investments rather than accepting the offer from the current provider.
  8. More likely to use Super Splitting to even up accoutn balances and protect against future legislative change
  9. They can learn the benefits of recontribution strategies for Estate Planning.

So if you have an SMSF or indeed a retail or industry superannuation fund go and take some advice as it opens your eyes to the potential strategies available to you no matter your age, assets or experience.

For those who have benefited from advice or are advisors, I challenge you to add other benefits to this list (leave a comment) so others can learn.

Feedback always appreciated. Please reblog, retweet, put on your Facebook page etc to make sure we get the news out there to seek advice.

Liam Shorte¬†B.Bus SSA‚ĄĘ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor‚ĄĘ

SMSF Specialist Adviser 

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

Verante Financial Planning

Tel: 02„ÄÄ98941844, 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.

Tips to protect your SMSF against fraud


I know there has been a bit in the news of late about SMSF being targeted by fraudsters but what should you look out for and how can you research and report suspect approaches, sites or promotional material.

In 2012 Christine St Anne from Morningstar wrote an excellent piece called 6 tips to protect your SMSF against fraud

I would urge all SMSF Trustees to read this article and yes that means even YOU! The usual victim is not the usual victim! These scammers are targeting well-educated, internet savvy, experienced investors who they expect to do some checks and have built their systems to convince those initially skeptical people.

In the last 6 months I have seen beautiful glossy brochures offering guaranteed 52% returns using systems for trading shares and another on horse racing. I spent a good few hours researching the numbers and i could not fault the numbers. It is only when you go deeper in to the working that you realise that it is nigh on impossible to replicate what they have done without the benefit of hindsight and that the parameters they claim to control just are too vast and complex for a current system to overcome. IF IT WERE THAT GOOD THEY WOULD NOT BE SELLING IT AND WOULD BE EXPLOITING IT THEMSELVES!

I have seen websites that look and perform better than many Australian ASX 200 corporate websites with links to portfolio platforms, links to testimonials on other (also fake websites) backing up the service or system. They also cater for the skeptical with links to US or International fraud investigation sites that verify that the fraudsters website is genuine (again they have replicated a real agency’s site with only a slight change to the domain address. These sites can be designed an up and running in days using cheap programmers in India, china and the Philippines so never , never rely on a website as verification something is genuine.

In Australia:

  1. Look for the Australian Financial Service licence and check it against the register here
  2. Ask for prior years annual reports and a full Product Disclosure Statement
  3. Ask a financial advisor/Accountant/SMSF Specialist Advisor‚ĄĘ/Lawyer¬†to check out the PDS, offer or website for you. (We love weeding out the bad apples!)
  4. Ask who are the owners and who are the directors and Google them. If they are not prominent then the offer is likely dubious or at best speculative.
  5. Have someone drop by the office on the brochure or website and check it is real and not just a phantom or serviced. I know this sounds ridiculous but Suite 5X4 , lvl 3, XXX Kent St, Sydney may be a broom cupboard!
  6. Check http://www.scamwatch.gov.au , ¬†https://www.moneysmart.gov.au¬†“Superannuation Scams Page” or at www.asic.gov.au¬†but just because a scam is not listed does not mean its genuine so beware.
  7. If it is being pushed by someone claiming to be a Financial Planner or Adviser then check them out on ASIC’s Financial Adviser Register here¬†and also on Adviser Ratings site here to see what people say about them.

Please add other tips via comments as we don’t want the SMSF sector targeted or the Government having to restrict our freedoms to protect against fraudsters.

Here is the link to the recent SMSF Adviser article :

SMSFs attractive for ‚Äėfraudulent exploitation‚Äô, says ACC¬†(Australian Crime Commission)

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 etc to make sure we get the news out there to do plenty of research first and only trust those that have earned our trust.

Liam Shorte¬†B.Bus SSA‚ĄĘ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor‚ĄĘ

SMSF Specialist Adviser 

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

Verante Financial Planning

Tel: 02„ÄÄ98941844, 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.

Do you want a say in who gets your superannuation if you die? Then put some strategies in place now.


You may have ignored your Super up to now as you feel young , immortal ¬†or just don’t like thinking about death (see I said “if you die” not “when you die””¬†just¬†so you would continue reading). But in doing so you may not have left your superannuation to the person you intended.

Strict rules govern how your super is distributed when you die – and it’s important to follow those rules to make sure your money goes to whom you want instead of having a faceless Super Fund Trustee or worse an out of date Trust Deed decide.

One of the most important decisions you make when you join a super fund has nothing at all to do with investment. It revolves around the question of whom to nominate as the beneficiaries of your super when you die.

It is a critical decision – because if you don’t get it right your savings could be given to someone other than your preferred beneficiaries or the funds could be held up while¬†disputes¬†are mediated.

Few exceptions

When a fund member dies, subject to the trust deed, his or her superannuation may only be paid to:

  • The member’s spouse (including a de facto spouse, whether¬†same-sex or not)
  • The member’s children
  • A person who was financially dependant on the deceased member at the date of death
  • A person with whom the deceased member had an interdependency relationship at the date of death
  • The member’s legal personal representative (estate)
  • NOTE that none of the above automatically include Mother, Father, Brothers or Sisters.

An interdependency relationship is defined as one between two persons (whether or not related by family) where it is very clear that:

  • They have a close personal relationship; and
  • They live together; and
  • One or each of them provides the other with financial support; and
  • One or each of them provides the other with domestic support and personal care.

For the purposes of that definition, all of the circumstances of the relationship between the persons must be taken into account, including (where relevant):

  • the duration of the relationship; and
  • whether or not a sexual relationship exists; and
  • the ownership, use and acquisition of property; and
  • the degree of mutual commitment to a shared life; and
  • the care and support of children; and
  • the reputation and public aspects of the relationship; and
  • the degree of emotional support; and
  • the extent to which the relationship is one of mere convenience; and
  • any evidence suggesting that the parties intend the relationship to be permanent;

A determination can take into account a statutory declaration signed by one of the persons to the effect that the person is, or (in the case of a statutory declaration made after the end of the relationship) was, in an interdependency relationship with the other person

In the case of a Retail or many Industry fund the beneficiaries you nominate when you join a fund are normally only a guide – the trustees of your fund will have the ultimate discretion as to who will receive your super. They will take into consideration any nomination of beneficiaries that you have made, but are not bound by your request.

The only exception is where your super fund allows you to make a “Binding Death Benefit Nomination” or even better a¬†” Non-Lapsing Binding Death Benefit Nomination” ¬†. This is a nomination that the trustees are obliged to follow. You may only nominate a spouse, child, someone who you held an interdependency relationship with, or a financial dependant.

If you want your superannuation to pass to someone else, such as a friend or charity, you should consider nominating your estate as the preferred beneficiary of your superannuation entitlements. You superannuation will then be distributed according to the terms of your will – you would need to nominate such people or bodies as beneficiaries of your will.

Regular review

It is important to review death benefit nominations regularly and to include full details of your beneficiaries – including their relationship to you, their full name and their address. This applies even if you have used a Non-Lapsing BDBN as your circusmtances may have changed,

Keeping your super fund trustee informed of any changes to your beneficiaries – or changes to their personal details – will make the task of distributing your super much less complex for all involved.

It’s also worth noting that the basic binding death benefit nominations are only valid for three years – so make sure you update your nomination regularly or ask for a Non-lapsing Binding Death Nomination form.

To be valid, a binding death benefit nomination must be:

  • Made to the trustee in writing, clearly setting out the proportion of benefits to be paid to respective beneficiaries;
  • Be signed by the member in the presence of two witnesses over 18 years of age and who are not themselves named as beneficiaries;
  • Include a signed witness declaration;
  • Received by the trustee; and
  • Renewed every three years, although it is possible and in my opinion preferred to have a non-lapsing binding death benefit nomination.

Who to leave your superannuation to (and how) can be a complex question that can involve tax, social security and other financial considerations. You are well advised to seek professional assistance from¬†a financial planner in this area and if dealing with an SMSF then a SMSF Specialist Advisor‚ĄĘ is the best place to start.

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‚ĄĘ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor‚ĄĘ

SMSF Specialist Adviser 

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

Verante Financial Planning

Tel: 02„ÄÄ98941844, 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.

Merging of Pensioner Tax Offset and Senior Australians Tax Offset to new Seniors and Pensioners Tax Offset (SAPTO)


Don’t you just love another acronym to learn!

The seniors and pensioners tax offset (SAPTO) replaced the senior Australians tax offset (SATO) and the pensioner tax offset from 1 July 2012. This means older Australians who were previously eligible for either SATO or the pensioner tax offset may now be eligible for the SAPTO.

The rebate amount and thresholds are illustrated below:

Seniors and pensioners tax offset (SAPTO)
Family status Maximum tax offset Shade-out threshold Cut-out threshold
Single $2,230 $32,279 $50,119
Couple (each)33 $1,602 $28,974 $41,790
Couple (separated due to illness)33 $2,040 $31,279 $47,599
  1. The shade-out threshold is the maximum rebate income at which individuals will be entitled to the maximum tax offset. The tax offset reduces by 12.5 cents for each dollar of rebate income in excess of the shade-out threshold.
  2. The cut-out threshold is the level of rebate income at which the offset reduces to nil. At or above this level of rebate income, there is no entitlement to the tax offset.
  3. Any unused portion of the tax offset may be transferable to the partner under TR 93/31.

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‚ĄĘ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor‚ĄĘ

SMSF Specialist Adviser 

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

Verante Financial Planning

Tel: 02„ÄÄ98941844, 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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