Everything you need to know about SMSF (including what it stands for)


Self managed superannuation funds or SMSFs are growing in popularity. Some figures have suggested that 31% of Australian retirement savings are held through self managed superannuation funds, out performing industry and/or retail funds.

Why self-managed super?

There are three main reasons why SMSFs are attractive:

  • More control and flexibility over what you can invest in (including the ability to borrow using your super as a deposit),
  • Transparency and ability to manage costs; and
  • Greater access to monitor your funds’ performance.

Who should have a SMSF?
The interest of younger generations in self-managed superannuation funds is growing, as more young professionals start making long-term decisions about their futures.

Those aged over 50 still account for the greatest number of SMSFs, but there are increasingly more 31 to 40-year-olds expressing interest in managing their own super.

There is no minimum or maximum amounts required to set-up an SMSF, however, as a general guide unless you have more than $150k, the costs of running an SMSF can outweigh the advantages.

How it works

You can set up your own private super fund and manage it yourself, but only under strict rules regulated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). A SMSF can have between one to four members. Each member is required to be a trustee (or director if there is a corporate trustee). Running your own fund is complex. When you run your own SMSF you must adhere to strict ATO governance relating to the management of the fund – a financial planner and good accounting firm will help to ensure you don’t break any of the rules.

Before you act, ask yourself:

  • Will your self-managed fund outperform your current fund?
  • What are the costs?
  • Will you lose valued benefits from your current fund (especially insurances held)?
  • Do you know enough to manage a SMSF?
  • What if your relationship with others in the fund changes?
  • Have you done enough research?

What next?

If you’re thinking about setting up an SMSF you need to be 100% committed. Before you make that decision, do your research and ask yourself what the real benefit is.

The ATO has a section about self-managed super funds and of course, we’re happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Confused about what to do? Talk to us to arrange a consultation.

Or check out our website for more information.

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