Register For Our Mailing List

Register to receive our free weekly newsletter including editorials.

Home / 133

SMSFs can lend to some relatives

I have always found it odd that SMSF members can have their SMSF trustee provide financial assistance to the members’ cousins and former spouses, just not to other relatives. How is this possible?

Who is a relative?

It’s not clear if it was intended but there is a loophole in the superannuation law. The law prohibits SMSF members from providing financial assistance to members and relatives of the members of an SMSF. However, the definition of a ‘relative’ of a member of an SMSF is a parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, lineal descendant or adopted child of the individual or of his or her spouse; or, a spouse of the individual or of any other individual referred previously.

As examples, cousins and former spouses are not mentioned. Therefore, SMSF trustees can provide financial assistance to their cousins and former spouses as long as the terms of financial assistance are at arm’s length and in accordance with their SMSF’s investment strategy. This means the loan should be documented so that it is enforceable by the SMSF trustees should there be a problem and interest at the market rate must be charged on the loan.

You may think that cousins and former spouses are included in the definition of a related party somewhere under the superannuation law. In fact, they are. Cousins and former spouses are included in the section which outlines who an individual can establish an SMSF with. This area of the law states that you can establish an SMSF with a relative. Here, the definition of a ‘relative’ of an SMSF member is a parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, aunt, uncle, great-aunt, great-uncle, niece, nephew, first cousin or second cousin of the individual or of his or her spouse or former spouse; or, a spouse or former spouse of the individual, or of an individual referred to previously.

As long as none of the members of an SMSF is a child of a cousin or of a former spouse; and, none of the other members of the SMSF is directly related to the cousins such as being the spouse of the cousin or being a parent of the cousins, the SMSF would not be prohibited from providing financial assistance to these people. Otherwise they will fall within the parameters of being a ‘relative’ due to the parent relationship or spousal relationship existing between the two parties.

Always check the related party rules

I love working with the superannuation law, but when an important defining term can include one relationship under one area of the law and exclude it in another, I can understand why many people find it frustrating. These inconsistencies seem odd, and it does make understanding tricky for the average SMSF investor. The important thing to remember here is that it’s always best to talk to an SMSF specialist before proceeding with any related party transactions.

 

Monica Rule is an SMSF specialist and author, see www.monicarule.com.au.


 

Leave a Comment:

     

RELATED ARTICLES

Ensure death benefit nominations are upheld

SMSFs need care dealing with related parties

Watch SMSF borrowing rules for separate assets

banner

Most viewed in recent weeks

Five ways the Retirement Review points to new policies

The Retirement Income Review goes much further than an innocent-sounding 'fact base', and is sure to guide policies in the run up to the next election. It will change how we think about retirement incomes.

Graeme Shaw on why investing is at a pivotal moment

Company profits have not improved for many years but higher valuations have been driven by falling rates and excess liquidity. Conditions do not suit a value and contrarian manager but here are some opportunities.

Retirement Review gives strong views on hoarding of super

The Review includes some profound findings, most notable that retirement income should include drawing down far more capital. Expect post-retirement products to proliferate under a Retirement Income Covenant.

11 key findings on retirement dreams during the pandemic

A mid-pandemic survey of over 1,000 people near or in retirement found three in four are not confident how long their money will last. Only 18% felt their money was safe during a strong economic downturn.

Bank scorecard 2020: when will the mojo return?

Banks severely cut dividends in 2020 but are expected to improve payments in 2021. History provides clues to when the banks will return to their 2019 levels of profitability, but who is positioned the best?

Generational wealth transfers will affect all investors

It's not only that 60 is the new 40, but 80 is the new 60. Many Baby Boomers spend up in retirement and are less inclined to leave a nest egg to their children. The ways wealth transfers will affect all investors.

Latest Updates

Shares

Hamish Douglass on big tech and life after COVID

On the sidelines of the Morningstar Conference, the Magellan co-founder reflects on the pandemic and which sectors are set to gain and lose. He says we were lucky the pandemic hit when it did (videos and transcripts).

Superannuation

Cost of running an SMSF receives updated judgement

Administration costs can rise for complexity, especially owning property in an SMSF, but fees are highly competitive from a wide range of service providers. The break-even cost is less than previously reported.

SMSF strategies

Three areas SMSFs should consider outsourcing

SMSF trustees often cite ‘control of my investments’ as the number one motivation for setting up their own fund. But it still makes sense to outsource some parts of a well-diversified portfolio.

Retirement

Apparently, retirees should learn to SKI

The Retirement Income Review demonstrated limited understanding of the risks faced by self-funded retirees implementing rational human behaviour. Spending to qualify for the age pension is not a solution.

Retirement

7-point checklist for managing the uncertain timing of death

Average life expectancies are a weak predictor of individual outcomes, and it's better to consider a range of probable lifespans. A plan that lasts to the average will disappoint every second retiree.

Exchange traded products

'Quality' ETFs under the microscope

Interest in 'quality' factor ETFs has increased this year, helped by very attractive returns. However, not all ETFs are created alike and there are divergences in portfolio traits which investors can identify.

Shares

Is growth of zombie companies real or fiction?

Much has been written about the rise of 'zombie firms' which should have gone bankrupt, but new research should be comforting to economists and investors alike, with focus on a particular segment.

Sponsors

Alliances

© 2020 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer
The data, research and opinions provided here are for information purposes; are not an offer to buy or sell a security; and are not warranted to be correct, complete or accurate. Morningstar, its affiliates, and third party content providers are not responsible for any investment decisions, damages or losses resulting from, or related to, the data and analyses or their use.
Any general advice or class service prepared by Morningstar Australasia Pty Ltd (ABN: 95 090 665 544, AFSL: 240892) and/or Morningstar Research Ltd, subsidiaries of Morningstar, Inc, has been prepared by without reference to your objectives, financial situation or needs. Refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information. You should consider the advice in light of these matters and if applicable, the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision to invest. Past performance does not necessarily indicate a financial product’s future performance. To obtain advice tailored to your situation, contact a professional financial adviser. Articles are current as at date of publication.
This website contains information and opinions provided by third parties. Inclusion of this information does not necessarily represent Morningstar’s positions, strategies or opinions and should not be considered an endorsement by Morningstar.

Website Development by Master Publisher.