Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF)

SMSF

Take control of your super
Having a self managed super fund (SMSF) can give you greater control over your financial future. Being in the driver’s seat means you make all the investment decisions and can get your super working for you, including accessing unique tax and investment opportunities. But there is also the challenge of establishing and managing the administration and compliance of an SMSF.

We will help you:

  • Setup and create an investment strategy
  • Manage with administration and compliance
  • Build your investment portfolio
  • Advice and information when you need it

There are now over 520,000 self managed super funds (SMSFs) representing more than $400 billion of the $1.3 trillion super assets pool (ATO, September 2010). This means that SMSFs now represent the largest segment within the superannuation industry. This is because SMSFs are now the retirement savings structure of choice for many professionals, small business owners and medium to high net worth clients.

Some unique benefits of a Self Managed Super Fund

There are many potential benefits of establishing an SMSF for your clients, including:

  • Control and flexibility of how and where to invest
  • Potential cost savings compared to public offer funds
  • Borrowing through super to leverage assets
  • Increased estate planning flexibility
  • Potentially increased tax efficiency
  • Pooling super assets with family members

Things to consider first

  • There’s a lot to consider before you decide to set up an SMSF. This includes, among other things:
    • the total of all super balances to be invested in the SMSF
    • the number of members joining the fund and their ages
    • how much time you have to spend on your SMSF
    • your retirement goals
    • investment preferences, and
    • your risk profile.
  • You generally need someone to help you set up your SMSF (such as an adviser or an accountant).
  • You generally need to have a reasonable amount of super, or be looking to build up your super quite quickly, to justify the costs of an SMSF. Everyone has a different view of ‘how much’ money is enough to start a SMSF, but as a guide the Australian Taxation Office suggests a minimum of $200,000 (that is, if the total balance of all members in the fund equates to $200,000 or more).
  • As an SMSF trustee, it is important that you are aware of and understand the duties, responsibilities and obligations of being a trustee. You will need to ensure that your fund operates in accordance with all applicable laws. You will also need to be aware of and follow the rules set out in your fund’s trust deed.
  • You need to be comfortable making investment decisions around when, where and how to invest or consider working with an adviser to help you. In particular, seek advice around borrowing if this is of interest to you. Depending on your circumstances, gearing in your super may not be appropriate.
  • You should consider discussing your situation with an adviser before deciding if an SMSF is right for you.
    Note: SMSFs are not appropriate for all investors due to the time, cost and responsibility involved in managing and SMSF and because they are not cost competitive for lower account balances.

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