Temporary delay to SMSF member increase

Changes to include six members in self-managed super funds (SMSFs) have seen their implementation delayed despite being due to apply from 1 July, 2021.   

The changes, which were passed last month, would see the number of members in a self-managed super fund (SMSF) increased from four members to six members.  

But Peter Burgess, deputy chief executive of the association, said he believed the ATO would have implementation delays of “a few weeks” and encouraged members to hold off making any changes yet. 

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Writing on Twitter, the SMSF Association said: “The Australian Taxation Office have not yet finalised the necessary changes to the Australian Business Register to allow SMSFs to register more than four members or to add a fifth or sixth member. 

“The ATO’s interim solution to allow additional members to be registered is to follow existing processes to register a new SMSF through the ABR to include members one to four. Trustees then lodge a paper ‘Change of details for superannuation entities form’ for members five and six.” 

“Due to manual intervention by the ATO, raising the risk of delays, the ATO encourages SMSFs to wait until the ABR is updated. The SMSF Association will continue to work closely with the ATO to monitor the process of registration and inform our members of changes to the ABR.” 

Overall, Burgess said the move to increase members had advantages and disadvantages as it would make it easier for large families but could also lead to disputes if there was increased participation. He also said people should check if their state allowed for more than four trustees as they may have to instead have a corporate trustee if it did not.  

The ATO website said: “We are currently implementing the necessary system changes to enable SMSFs to add members five and six to their fund though the ABR. We recommend you wait until the ABR is updated before you register or update your fund with more than four members”. 

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