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April 2020

Early access impact overstated

By Homepage, In the MediaNo Comments

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Published by selfmanagedsuper
Written by Jason Spits on 29 April 2020

The impact on the retirement income of superannuation fund members who choose to withdraw $10,000 from their fund in the current financial year under COVID-19 early access measures has been vastly overestimated by some models, according to an investments and retirement-focused fintech firm.

mSmart managing director Derek Condell said while the models put forward by ASIC and Industry Super Australia (ISA) are using figures presented in real dollar terms, they have also factored in inflation until the age of retirement, which in some cases could be up to 40 years away.

Condell said modelling conducted by mSmart, using algorithms developed by mSmart director Dr Frank Ashe and which eliminated the inflation component, found the overall decrease in a final super balance was around $30,000 for a super fund member aged 35 at the time of early access and who had an initial balance of $70,000 at that time.

He added the decrease translated to only a $55 a fortnight, or $1430 a year, drop in an original estimated pension drawdown of $58,000 and similar declines were seen for members currently aged 45 and 55 and retiring at age 67 and drawing a pension from age 68 onwards (see table below).

“We have calculated the above with a 50 per cent probability and assume that the investment portfolio is continually invested in assets despite markets having fallen from their highs, and the results are shown in today’s dollars, where we have taken inflation out to give a meaningful ‘like with like’ result,” he said.

“We have done this to show what purchasing power people would have with their superannuation if they were accessing the money today compared to what these funds may look like in 10, 20 or 30 years, and the impact is minimal.”

The firm’s numbers echo comments from a senior Treasury official who was questioned during a senate committee about the modelling used by ISA in producing its figures.

ISA released its model on 26 March and estimated fund members could face an impact on their final superannuation balance that was twice that estimated by ASIC on its Moneysmart webpage.

Responding to questioning from Senator James Paterson as to the difference in the figures, Treasury retirement income policy division head Robert Jeremenko told the the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19, which is examining the government’s response to the pandemic: “The major reason for that is the use of nominal figures rather than real figures. Those figures that ISA quote do not use today’s dollars, effectively.

“That is inconsistent with what ASIC has told super funds and what ASIC has told anyone who is making public statements about the effect on retirement balances of various withdrawals from super.

“So it makes intuitive sense to me that you use today’s dollars when you’re trying to estimate what effect a withdrawal will have at some point in the future, which is what the ASIC Moneysmart calculator does.”

mSmart recently announced it was in the final stages of developing an app that projects the likelihood of the future value of superannuation, savings pools and education funding plans, taking into account all the uncertainties of economies and markets.

ATO extends 2019 SMSF lodgement date to 30 Jun 2020

By BGL Update, Homepage, In the Media, IndustryNo Comments

I hope this was as a result of lobbying by the accounting bodies.

When I last spoke to the ATO, I was told the accounting bodies supported the ATO position of asking each tax agent to apply for extensions. What changed their minds ?

I called out the previous ATO position as stupid.

It is nice to see the ATO eventually agreed!


BGL announces unique integration with cryptocurrency exchange platform Cointree

By BGL Update, Homepage, Simple Fund 360No Comments

BGL is proud to announce a unique integration with Cointree, a leading cryptocurrency exchange platform.

“It’s great to have Cointree as part of the BGL Ecosystem”, says Ron Lesh, BGL’s Managing Director. “Cointree provides outstanding cryptocurrency exchange experience and is a go-to for many Australians buying, selling or trading cryptocurrency especially first-time traders. This is a great opportunity for Simple Fund 360 clients to add a new class of assets to their portfolios.”

“We are excited to be the first exchange to join the BGL Ecosystem”, says Jess Renden, Cointree’s Head of Operations. “With cryptocurrency continuing to grow in popularity globally as an alternative asset class, our partnership with BGL continues Cointree’s goal of making crypto easy, fast and safe for everyone. The integration joins our suite of tax tools and makes it easy for Australians to meet their SMSF reporting obligations.”

The new integration with Cointree will keep track of all relevant CGT and crypto trading events for an SMSF. Clients can easily download a transaction file from Cointree’s platform and import into Simple Fund 360 by using the BGL File Import in the Wraps and Platforms screen.

“At BGL, we are a strong advocate of developing ecosystem partnerships that establish a better way for our clients to work with their clients. Partnering with Cointree is an example of two leading technology providers collaborating to create new opportunities and for the benefit of both our clients”, adds Lesh.

BGL currently has over 350 partners as part of our Ecosystem.

About Cointree

Cointree is a digital currency exchange here to make cryptocurrency easy for everyone. Founded in Melbourne in 2013, we are one of Australia’s leading exchanges. We are an Australian Blockchain Industry Awards 2019 finalist for best digital currency exchange and members of Blockchain Australia. Cointree is on a mission to educate and excite Australians about digital currencies, providing all the vital tools to buy, sell, trade, pay bills, and grow their investment portfolios.

Cointree is a registered digital currency exchange with AUSTRAC (the Australian Government regulatory and monitoring body for AML/CTF) and a partner of the not-for-profit Blockchain Centre.

Working remotely? How to nail it!

By BGL Update, Homepage, Industry, WellnessNo Comments

In a matter of weeks, we adapted our software to meet our clients’ changing needs and improve their experience; implemented innovative ways to keep our teams connected and productive; and sought out ways to help the community. Now, we want to share what we’ve learned so far in hopes that it might help you during this transition. Here are some tips from the BGL team to help you nail WFH:

Plan the day and week ahead – set goals and keep track of them

Everyone has their own way of planning their time, however, one great tip is to get into the habit of writing your to-do list for the day and week ahead. Also, consider your most difficult tasks and try to get them out of the way as early as possible to avoid procrastination. Using Project Management platforms such as Jira, Asana, Monday.com can be quite helpful.

Communicate with other team members – Implement regular meetings

Since you’re no longer close to your co-workers or manager, it’s good to schedule 1:1 check-in meetings with them on a weekly basis to chat about your goals, upcoming projects and daily tasks. Use this time to clarify any concerns or questions you might have, plus inform about achievements and future tasks. Using communication, video conferencing platforms such as Slack, Skype, Zoom or GoTo can be quite helpful.

Get dressed properly and set up a workstation

Your morning prep routine – People often joke that they would love to work in their pyjamas but, in reality, getting dressed as if you are heading to the office can help put you in ‘work mode’. It also ensures you look professional in all video meetings. The same mindset applies for a proper workstation set up, it can help you stay focused on activities while WFH, so make sure you have one!

Stay connected, lean on community

To feel supported and stay connected to the “real world”, become part of a remote community. We’ve found that being surrounded by others who are successfully working remotely inspires us to remain productive while embracing the flexibility. Plus, human interaction can make all the difference in your productivity as well as your mental and emotional well-being. Participate in Facebook Groups, Slack Channels, attend online events and other community initiatives 🙂

Make the most of your cloud-apps

Automate processes as much as you can. Take advantage of the perks of using cloud-based apps for greater collaboration when working remotely: Cloud computing has made it incredibly easy for workers in a company to collaborate and being able to keep providing the same service level to clients! At BGL, we use a number of cloud applications and that is allowing us to keep providing next level service to clients and collaboration between teams. Make sure you and your team have the right resources in place and are making the most out of it.

Plus, keep positive, enjoy a nice coffee, play with your pets, and celebrate your family!

Working from home can be a big transition. You might feel any combination of lonely, isolated, stressed, frustrated, anxious, unmotivated, or — on the other hand — relieved, relaxed, energised, or productive. It’s all OK and normal. Take it easy on yourself and make sure you remain positive!

If you want to find out more about BGL’s updates, click here.

BGL announces new features in Simple Fund 360

By BGL Update, Homepage, Simple Fund 360No Comments

BGL is proud to announce another major release of Simple Fund 360 which includes changes for the government’s Stage 1 response to COVID-19, integration with Cointree, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, and much much more.

“I am really proud of the BGL Team” said BGL’s Managing Director Ron Lesh. “Through this really tough period and with the whole Team working from home, they have continued to provide our clients with first class customer service and responded to legislative announcements in a timely manner. Being able to pivot within a sprint to handle the pension and other changes shows exactly how agile development processes should work”.

Yesterday, BGL released Stage 1 the COVID-19 SMSF changes, enabling users to perform reviews of Account-Based, TRIS and TRIS retirement phase pensions for the 50% minimums. At the same time, we released integration with Cointree, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, allowing users to download transaction files from Cointree and import directly into Simple Fund 360 and an update to the Investment Income Comparison Report for the 45-day holding period rule and much more.

“In just 3 months, the Simple Fund 360 and API teams have delivered 4 releases, including an accounting workpapers update, property dashboard, mobile app Engage by BGL for Android users and more! No other industry player has delivered so many new features to their clients over the past 3 months” noted Lesh.

“The ability of the BGL Team to operate “as normal” through these difficult times is a tribute to the quality of our people” added Lesh. “This is why both CAS 360 and Simple Fund 360 are clear market leaders in the corporate compliance and SMSF admin space with over 7,000 firms maintaining 650,000 entities subscribed to our software solutions”.

For a full list of new features, check out the BGL Community.