Speaking at the SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia National Conference Q&A session on Wed 19.2.2014, the Assistant Treasurer was asked whether he had addressed an issue concerning the Australian super fund definition and the inability for people when they travel overseas to be able to be able to contribute to their SMSF while they are gone. SPAA CEO Andrea Slattery said because of current legislation “where if somebody travels overseas, the only way they can contribute is to contribute into a retail or industry fund”. She said people “either have to shut their fund down, not contribute, which affects their retirement savings, or they have to contribute to another fund and then there’s the issue of having to role that money out into their fund when they return”.

The Assistant Treasurer said he hasn’t addressed the issue “as yet” but was “happy to have a look at it”. Senator Sinodinos noted the 2-year grace available under the rules etc, but said he recognised that this “goes back to this issue of one size fits all when it comes to the rules”. However he said: “But we must always remember that one of the reasons that we have some of those rules around being funds located and administered in Australia and all the rest of it, is of course we are providing certain concessions in Australia. You don’t want a situation where you’re creating a potential, for want of a better description, overseas wealth accumulation vehicle, you want one that is very much tethered to local conditions. But I am happy to talk to you further about anomalies and inconsistencies in that regard.”

[LTN 34, 20/2/14]