The Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law, Senator Nick Sherry, has launched a review of self-managed super funds (SMSFs) designed to establish whether funds are properly governed and whether trustees, and their advisers, properly understand their rights and obligations.

Minister Sherry says he strongly supports the "ongoing role that SMSFs play”. “But we have to be ready to face up to some of the issues we see,” he says. The review will focus, among other things, on the role played by financial planners and accountants advising people to set up SMSFs. “It is critical that those recommending an SMSF provide effective disclosure to their clients,” Minister Sherry says. “We need to ensure that people are familiar with details such as the financial and time burdens and the amount of money they need in the fund to make it a worthwhile option.”

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) says it welcomes. FPA chief executive Jo-Anne Bloch says all advisers who give advice on superannuation products, which includes SMSFs, should be “appropriately licensed and qualified to do so”. “This would mean either reconsidering the exemption given to accountants, or ensuring that minimum levels of competency and qualification are upheld across the board, including accountants,” Bloch says.

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