Q&As

Insights from the Superannuation Industry with Craig Meldrum

Thursday August 18, 2016

Craig Meldrum from Australian Unity joined Natalie Bamber of Legalwise Seminars to discuss the fundamentals of Superannuation in 2016.

You can join Craig at the 2nd Annual Superannuation Essentials Conference in Melbourne, on Thursday 13 October 2016.

You can find the transcript of the Q&A below.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and Australian Unity?

I'm a Registered Tax Agent and Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA) with the Tax Institute, a Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA), a Fellow of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and a SMSF Specialist AdvisorTM of the SMSF Association (SMSFA). My qualifications include a Masters in Taxation, a Bachelor of Business and a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning.

In terms of what drives me, I am a strong advocate of professionalism and higher education standards in financial planning and participate in various committees and working groups that support that drive including the Board Policy and Regulation Committee of the FPA and the Education Committee and Victorian State Chapter of the SMSFA. I am regularly quoted in the media and have presented to audiences around Australia and overseas on various issues impacting the financial advisory profession, particularly technical services and strategy, advice professionalism and legislative change.

As far as Australian Unity is concerned, our clients already know us as a financial services icon which prides itself on professional and personal service. Our team of experienced personal financial services professionals provide expertise in a broad range of financial services which include:

  • Trustee Services
  • Financial advice
  • Personal and Business Lending
  • Equipment and motor vehicle finance
  • Personal and business risk insurance and estate planning
  • General insurance

While we are a major provider of financial services in Australia with substantial resources, we will always be driven by our community-based values and our heritage of helping Australians to create secure financial futures.

What are the three big challenges facing the SMSF industry over the next 12 months?

Perhaps the single biggest issue impacting superannuation generally, and not just over the coming 12 month period, is legislative change. I have written about the impacts on confidence in the system wrought on superannuation members, employers and the larger superannuation industry from the myriad tweaks and changes brought about by successive governments over the decades since it was introduced.

Stemming from that is the next biggest issue impacting superannuation over the coming 12 months which is the impact on superannuation accumulation strategies following the 2016 Budget announcements affecting superannuation, particularly the $500,000 lifetime non-concessional cap backdated to 1 July 2007, if it is legislated.

If there is room for a third big issue, or opportunity depending on where you sit, it is technology. The ability for SMSF trustees and members to access an increasingly broad range of technologically advanced solutions across advice, administration, investment, performance and reporting is staggering and the pace with which these solutions are coming to market means the next 12 months and beyond will see enormous innovation and a shift in the superannuation landscape.         

What do you see as the most common issues facing SMSF trustees?

There is so much noise about the wrong-doers, ie, those trustees that dip into the fund to bail out a failing business or fail in the obligations as a trustee or director of the corporate trustee or where families end up in court over the distribution of an estate when the binding death benefit nomination is found to be ineffective. But more commonly, the issues that affect most mum and dad trustees include access to quality affordable advice, education and administration solutions.

To hear more from Craig, join us at the 2nd Annual Superannuation Essentials Conference in Melbourne, on Thursday 13 October 2016.

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