ASIC challenged on ‘scary’ SMSF factsheet

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has been directly challenged on the validity of claims within its self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF) factsheet, with the chair of a key Parliamentary committee suggesting it is nowhere near his personal experience.

The chair of the House of Representatives Economics Committee, Tim Wilson, questioned the data used by ASIC in the SMSF factsheet noting it differed from his personal experience and stating: “…it just looks to me like you guys are trying to scare people out of using SMSFs with that sort of information”.

Wilson directly questioned ASIC’s suggestion that it took 100 hours a year to run an SMSF and that doing so cost $13,900 year.

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He said that the data provided by ASIC was radically different from his own experience and that it seemed disconnected from the practical reality of how people manage their SMSFs.

“But clearly you believe it is accurate,” he said.

Defending the regulator’s position, ASIC Commissioner, Danielle Press, denied ASIC was trying to scare people but described the document as a “a red-flag disclosure report, which is supposed to be raising issues that consumers should be thinking about when going into an SMSF”.

“For some people, SMSFs are absolutely the right outcome and the right option. For others, they're not. We think that the benefits are well-articulated but the risks are not as well articulated. We think that consumers deserve to have those red flags highlighted to them before they make a decision that is very difficult to unwind.”

Press said that the 100 hours “is of course an average”.

“Some people will spend more than that. Some people will spend less,” she said.

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