Govt fixes SMSF death benefit slug

When a superannuation fund is in pension mode it does not pay tax on income or capital gains derived from those assets used to provide the pension. The ATO earlier this year caused much angst when it determined that upon the death of a member, the fund is no longer providing a pension to that member and there for any capital gains that occur in disposing of assets to pay out death benefits to the pensioner’s beneficiaries are not exempt from tax.


The treasurer today announced that from 1 July 2012, the Government will amend the law to allow the tax exemption for earnings on assets supporting superannuation income streams to continue following the death of a fund member in the pension phase until the deceased member’s benefits have been paid out of the fund. This proposed continuation of the exempt current pension income (ECPI) provisions beyond the death of a member will be subject to the existing requirement for the benefits of a deceased member to be paid out of the fund as soon as practicable following the member’s death.