SMSF Association pledges to stop elder abuse

The SMSF Association has pledged to work with the Federal Government to implement a National Plan to address elder abuse by the end of 2018.

The National Plan is a response to a key recommendation of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s (ALRC) report on elder abuse, Elder Abuse – A National Legal Response.

SMSF Association chief executive officer, John Maroney, said given the issue of elder abuse concerns 47 per cent of SMSF members aged 60 or older, a national plan is needed to minimise these incidences.

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“Elder abuse is an emerging risk for the SMSF sector and the ALRC’s recommendation regarding superannuation and the issue of enduring powers of attorney (EPOA) can help mitigate it without significantly increasing compliance for SMSF trustees or limiting choice on how to run their fund,” he said.

Maroney also said the proposed changes to superannuation law under the National Plan would ensure that trustees consider planning for the loss of capacity to an SMSF trustee; that estate planning becomes part of the fund’s investment strategy; and that the ATO is told when an individual becomes an SMSF trustee because of an EPOA.

“The investment strategy recommendation will ensure that SMSF trustees and their advisers give more thought to planning for loss of capacity and ensuring that the right people assist SMSF members with their fund as they age,” he said.

The SMSF Association also said it supports the ALRC’s call for a review of the laws regarding binding death benefit nominations for superannuation fund members, as well as the recommendations to increase oversight of the use of EPOA and create a consistent national approach to their use. 

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