Morrison warned on super legacy issues

The Federal Government needs to clearly recognise the legacy issues which created estate planning opportunities within superannuation, according to SMSF Association chief executive, Andrea Slattery.

Slattery has told a Money Management roundtable that the Government needs to be very careful to distinguish between what currently exists and legacy issues.

She was reacting to a further declaration by Federal Treasurer, Scott Morrison that the Government was determined to eliminate the use of superannuation as an estate planning tool.

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While endorsing the Treasurer's intention, Slattery said the legacy issues which had given rise to the estate planning opportunities, including the former Howard Government's policy decision to allow tax-concessional contributions of up to $1 million, had all gone.

In doing so, she pointed to comments by the Commissioner for Taxation, Chris Jordan, that those with high superannuation account balances had been examined and had achieved them through genuine and real returns.

"Those returns have not been produced illegally, they have been real," she said.

"We therefore need to be very careful to distinguish between legacy and what is real today and the policy levers that are used."

The SMSF Association's new chairman, Andrew Gale, said that it was important to look at the levels of concessionality and the way in which they were distributed and to weigh them against transfer payments.

"Once you do that, it shows there is reasonable balance across most except the top too deciles," he said "And those in the top two deciles are legacy issues."

Class Super chairman, Kevin Bungard, said that there was a need for the Government to be careful about unintended consequences resulting from its policy measures.

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