News and Views

Buyer beware: the new risk to clients funding insurance in super

It may be hard to believe but we’re almost on the home straight of what has felt like the longest election campaign in recent history. And while both of the major parties have unveiled a number of policies over the past two months on key issues ranging from higher education, to innovation, penalty rates – and of course, “jobs and growth” – one of the most debated and divisive policies continues to be the government’s proposed changes to superannuation.

Keeping it in the family

While the ATO continues to crackdown on tax minimisation strategies, quite a few legal pathways to paying less tax while preserving wealth for retirement or estate planning purposes still exist. Family trusts have significant tax saving abilities that make them an attractive tool for wealth creation.

Insurance traps in your super

Insurance arrangements in super can create a few surprise outcomes for members who leave big superannuation funds to start their own self-managed super fund yet leave a portion in their old fund.
 
Members need to be wary of the traps that can cause a loss of cover. As insurance is a complex financial product members need to understand the benefits, risks and the costs entailed when entering into insurance cover in large superannuation funds.

ATO imposes stricter guidelines for SMSF borrowing

Self-managed super funds (SMSF) have until 31 January 2017 to conform to the ATO’s new rules on related party loans.
 
 A guidance paper released by the Tax Office stated that related-party loans e.g. family trusts or private companies to SMSFs now must be at interest rates of 7.75 per cent for shares and 5.75 per cent for property.

Understanding unfair dismissal

The number of unfair dismissal applications lodged last year suggests that employers are still struggling with unfair dismissal laws.

Around 14,800 unfair dismissal claims were filed in 2015, keeping the Fair Work Commission (FWC) very busy. And while most cases were settled before a formal hearing, they do create an unproductive distraction for employers.
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