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The life and death of an SMSF pension: Tax and succession planning


While much wealth is now accumulated in self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs), the full potential and versatility of SMSFs is often not realised until entering the pension phase. This article considers some of the topical tax and succession planning issues that arise in relation to SMSF pensions, especially in the light of the Commissioner of Taxation's draft taxation ruling TR 2011/D3. The new draft ruling provides considerable insight into the Commissioner's views of when a superannuation income stream commences and ceases, and will have significant implications for SMSF pensions. The article sets out to demonstrate that careful planning and documentation can avoid undesirable outcomes and optimise results in the life and death of a superannuation pension.

Author profile

Peter Slegers CTA
Photo of author, Peter SLEGERS Peter Slegers, LLB (Hons), MTax, CTA Partner Cowell Clarke Peter heads Cowell Clarke's tax and revenue practice group. Peter advises and acts for a wide range of public and private companies as well as for the trustees of self managed superannuation funds. Peter’s areas of expertise include: income tax (as it impacts on business and high net worth clients); capital gains tax; goods and services tax; state taxes and superannuation law. Peter also does succession planning work and is involved in significant business restructures. Peter is regularly involved in advising SMSF trustees on issues associated with superannuation income streams. Peter has a master’s degree in taxation from the University of NSW – ATAX School. Peter is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the SMSF Professionals Association of Australia Ltd. Peter is a member of the Tax Institute’s South Australian State Council. - Current at 19 July 2017
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