BT's Tim Howard

Alterations to the financial advice landscape due to the pandemic lead areas of concern for advisers in the September quarter according to BT’s technical team, with re-contribution of the early-release superannuation withdrawals and relief extensions for SMSFs top of mind.

Re-contribution of the $10,000 (maximum) payments made available to superannuation fund members during the pandemic was the most common area of concern for advisers and their clients, says BT, which fields around 2,000 queries per quarter.

“Some advisers are pleasantly surprised to learn that their clients can re-contribute the amounts they had withdrawn under the Covid-19 early release of super program, and that those re contributions will not be counted towards their non-concessional contributions cap,” says BT technical consultant Tim Howard. “What’s more, clients have until 30 June 2030 to make the re contributions – and so have a long period in which to get their retirement savings back to where they were.”

Queries about relief for overseas SMSF members unable to return to Australia due to travel restrictions associate with the pandemic has also been a hot button issue, BT says. Other SMSF relief areas, such as inhouse asset threshold limits and property tenancy measures, have also been prominent.

Surprisingly, BT reports advisers that while “most” advisers are aware that SMSF members can’t make personal use of property owned in their fund, many still query the rules.

“Advisers are asking for certainty around what the alternate solution may be, although they may already know the answer,” Howard says. “They are double checking with us, as clients who are about to retire are regularly asking advisers whether they can move into the property owned by their SMSF.”

Indexation of the transfer balance cap an removal of the excess concessional contributions charge round out the top five queries for the quarter, BT reports.

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