The 2018 Self-Managed Superannuation Fund Association National Conference will focus on operating and managing an SMSF in a post-reform world, including how to avoid traps, says Peter Hogan, head of education and technical at the SMSFA.

The conference will have sessions broken down into three streams: legislation and regulation; practice; and strategy.

The ‘legs & regs’ stream, Hogan says, will include discussions about estate planning and the complexity of capital gains tax relief. The practice sessions will centre on issues such as aged care and the way advisers manage SMSF accounting, policy and management. In the strategy stream, a mix of topics will be covered, including SMSF property ownership, contribution opportunities and tax planning.

“It’s going to be a very busy three days,” Hogan says. “The sessions looking at alternative tax planning structures will generate a lot of interest, as should the ones on CGT relief. There’ll be a lot of general information around business models in the new regime, along with some more technical discussions about death benefits and estate planning.”

Another highlight will be an address on Thursday morning by Deen Sanders, chief executive of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority.

“We’re really looking forward to Deen speaking and we’re confident the talk should be well attended,” Hogan says. “I’m sure he’ll elaborate on what was announced by FASEA before Christmas – to the extent that he can.”

Any comment providing direction on FASEA’s intentions for the impending changes to education standards will be eagerly welcomed by advisers.

“We’ve given him clear reign on what he can and can’t say,” Hogan affirms. “He’s quite willing to answer questions, though I suspect he won’t be able to answer all of them.”

Hogan is presenting a standalone session on the final day of the conference, titled ‘Managing pensions under the new regime’. The presentation will put a spotlight on pensions in a post-reform world, he says, and cover the issues that are critical for advisers.

“There will be three stages to the talk: how to manage pension accounts while a client is in pension phase, what happens to their account on their death, and what you can do to maximise their position,” Hogan says. “We’ve had a while to digest the changes from last year and get our heads around what it means for different clients. It’s more about traps than tips. There’s more focus on not getting it wrong, because you can make some really bad decisions that have terrible results. It’s a relatively new regime, so advisers are still learning how to avoid those bad decisions.”

Join the discussion