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Superannuation & Retirement

Self-managed Superannuation Funds

What is a SMSF ?

A Self Managed Super fund (or SMSF) is a superannuation fund where you, the members, are also the controllers of the fund. As the Trustee you have total control over the Self Managed Super Fund. You establish the investment strategy, and are ultimately responsible for everything that happens within the fund. This "control" aspect is probably the most common reason for members setting up their own fund, however with this control also comes responsibility.

There are administrative and compliance obligations that come with super fund trusteeship, and new trustees need to embrace this and take it on board before they go ahead with establishing a fund.

Post the Global Financial Crisis, Self Managed Super Funds have become increasingly popular with people from all walks of life. Individuals have become increasingly discontent with the performance of their retail or industry fund. The "choice of super fund" regime that began in July 2005 ushered in an era where it became more viable (subject to other considerations) for employees to have their own SMSF, and still have their employer contribute to it.

A Super fund is considered a Self Managed Superannuation fund if it has the following:

  • it has four or less members
  • no member of the fund is an employee of another member of the fund, unless they are related;
  • each member is a trustee, and no trustee of the fund receives any remuneration for their services as a trustee;
  • if the fund uses a corporate trustee each member of the fund is a director of the company, the corporate trustee does not receive any remuneration for its services as a trustee, and no director of the corporate trustee receives any remuneration for their services as a director in relation to the fund.

We highly recommend the use of a corporate trustee if you are establishing a SMSF.

Employees cannot be in the same self managed superannuation fund as an employer member, unless they are related.

Single Member funds:

It is possible to have a self managed superannuation fund with only one member. A single member fund may have a corporate trustee, but the member must:

  • be the sole director of the trustee company, or
  • be related to the other director of the trustee company and there are only two directors of that company, or
  • not be an employee of the other director of the trustee company and there are only two directors of that company.

A single member fund may alternatively have two individuals as trustees. The member must be one trustee and the other trustee must be:

  • a person who is related to the member, or
  • any other person, provided the member is not an employee of that person.


Self Managed Super Funds at Twelve Chartered Accountants

Twelve has an experienced team of staff that are well trained in the field of Self Managed Super Fund establishment & administration.

We have a wealth of experience in this field and can assist to ensure that you have the correct structure right from the start.

The team at Twelve will guide you through the compliance maze and will assist you and your clients to navigate through all the issues.

This will include:

  • Implementing a deed that is up to date and adaptable to changes in legislation
  • Discussing the advantages & disadvantages of a Trustee Company over individual trustees
  • Assistance when rolling money over from other super funds
  • Establishing adequate insurance inside and outside of superannuation
  • Apply for an ABN, TFN & obtain ATO approval to become a complying SMSF
  • Provide advice and assistance to establish a Bare Trust and SMSF borrowing
  • Assist with the loan approval process
  • Provide an SMSF audit service
  • SMSF general or specific advice