SMSF Association National Conference demonstrates appetite for return to major live events


John Maroney

SMSF Association CEO John Maroney and Association Chair Scott Hay-Bartlem warmly welcomed a strong delegation of over 950 multidisciplinary SMSF professionals from across the country at the opening of the 18th Annual National Conference this morning, demonstrating the appetite for collaboration and education in the SMSF sector.

The National Conference presents two and a half days of premium technical education starting this morning with a stimulating Thought Leadership Breakfast, presented by Act2 Solutions, focussed on technology in the SMSF sector, and a bustling SMSF exhibition showcasing the latest products and services in the sector.

In response to the strong turnout this year, Mr Maroney said that, after two years of restricted events, there is a clear appetite for SMSF professionals to get together and update themselves on how the SMSF sector has evolved.

“The energy at the National Conference has already been incredible, you can feel the appetite for in-person events and the excitement it brings following the relaxation of travel and event restrictions,” he said.

“We’re diving right into the educational program this morning with a focus on movements in the regulatory landscape with Deputy CEO / Director of Policy & Education, Peter Burgess. This year’s technical program will once again kick off with this high-level, rapid-fire SMSF legislation stocktake session.”

“The SMSF sector has continued to grow strongly, and, from a legislation perspective, it’s been one of the busiest years on record. The scope and impact of these changes on client strategies is considerable, such as the new SuperStream rules, the introduction of Director Identification Numbers, and some of the regulatory changes to residency rules and the work test.”

SMSF Association Director, Bryan Ashenden, will also explore significant changes in the regulatory landscape for the provision of financial advice and related services that are currently under examination by the Australian Law Reform Commission and Treasury’s Quality Advice Review post the Royal Commission.

Mr Hay-Bartlem said that the conference has drawn in professionals from all over the country, acting as an example of how major events can be reintroduced slowly, as Australia returns to business as usual.

“I am thrilled to be the Association’s new Chair and to welcome so many of our members to Adelaide. What we have delivered is a program focused on bringing our members up to speed on technical and regulatory developments in the SMSF space, delivered by some of the very best in the sector,” said Mr Hay-Bartlem.

“The SMSF sector depends heavily on the advice from SMSF specialists and we are here to support you every step of the way,” he said.

Both Senator Jane Hume, Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services, and the Digital Economy and Dr Jim Chalmers, Shadow Treasurer, provided video addresses to the conference, a sign of the growing importance of SMSFs as a retirement vehicle and policymaker interest in supporting the sector.

“I’m pleased to be speaking with you at the SMSF Association National Conference, an event that continues to increase in size and stature as more Aussies take their future into their own hands. The SMSF Sector is a great strength of the Australian retirement system and it’s only getting better,” Senator Jane Hume said.

“One quarter of all super assets are now in self-managed funds and the traditional demographics of SMSFs are changing – more women and younger people.”

“With the changing landscape of the sector, regulatory settings need to be targeted and effective without the burden of red tape. The Morrison Government is a great ally of the SMSF sector,” she said.

Dr Chalmers commented: “I’m really proud of my long association with you all the way back to when Andrea Slattery was running the organisation and through more recent consultations and conversations. I want to thank you for your advocacy, availability and for the opportunity to confer with you from time to time.”

“I know that Stephen Jones and the rest of the economics team and indeed the whole Shadow Cabinet and Parliamentary Party are grateful for the work that you do,” he added.

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