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What is a Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF)?

A Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) is your Superannuation run by you for you. You get to decide how you manage your Superannuation, to set yourself up for the retirement that you want.

Anyone who already has money in another Superannuation Fund, Pension Fund, Approved Deposit Fund or any other form of roll over investment can have a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund. In addition, all Local Government, State Government and Federal Government Employees can set up an SMSF. It’s a common misconception that public servants don’t have choice of where their super goes.

SMSF’s can have up to 6 members to a fund. This allows you the ability to combine your Superannuation with other members in order to save on costs, or to invest into assets that the members feel more comfortable with.


What are the benefits of a Self-Managed Super Fund?

The main benefits of establishing your own self-managed Superannuation fund would be control, flexibility and tax effectiveness. Having your own fund will allow you to select appropriate investments (with our assistance) to maximise the return on your Superannuation assets. Investment options include Australian and International shares, property, managed funds, fixed interest and cash.

You will have the flexibility to contribute to your fund according to your timetable, availability of funds, etc.


You choose how your assets are invested, you monitor how those investments perform and you make investment decisions based on that knowledge.

You are able to borrow money from bank to be used for your SMSF.

Because you make the decisions, you can always find out what your costs are and what your investments are performing at, at any time.


SMSF traditionally operate within a fixed price fee structure, depending on what type of investment you decide to go with and can depend on the associated administration costs. This gives you the opportunity to be flexible with the fees.

When you combine your Superannuation with other member’s this can give you the flexibility to invest into assets you otherwise couldn’t afford on your own.

You can link your fund with your overall financial plan. For example, your self-managed fund can be used for both accumulating assets during your working life and for income during retirement.

As you have total control of your fund, you’ll be able to consider a range of investments that suit you, eg: property, shares, gold, silver, wine, art, vintage cars. You’ll be able to alter the structure of your investments as you see fit.

Furthermore, when you reach retirement age there is no need to close or “wind up” the fund. The reason, very simply, is that you can become a pensioner of your own fund and retain the assets in their current form if you so desire.

Tax Effectiveness:

The flexibility of your SMSF means, you can purchase a range of assets through your super which are taxed at a concessional rate of 15% as opposed to your normal marginal tax rate. This means when buying and selling with your super, more money is retained within your super which in turn is building you a bigger nest egg.


How does an SMSF work?

If you want more control over your retirement however you are time poor or don’t want to go through the hassle of the documents involved in setting up a SMSF, licensed financial advisers and tax accountants can prepare and assist with the completion on an upfront and ongoing basis.

The cost to set up and run your SMSF will depend on your strategy and what you will use the SMSF for. You could have something as simple as your money in a bank account, right through to complex trust and company structures designed to save on tax and maximise your superannuation growth. So ultimately, it will depend on what your licensed financial adviser and tax accountant deem to be appropriate for the work involved in your strategy.

The time you will need to spend managing your fund is really up to you, you can be as involved as you’d like to be, checking the performance day to day right through to the ‘set and forget’ model where you could check on it once year. The choice is yours.

Some people, especially retirees, discover that they enjoy studying investment markets. They find that they enjoy considering their options and find that they quite voluntarily spend more and more time in active control of their fund. Of course, you can always call upon the assistance of a professional adviser.


Who can have a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund?

Anyone who is under 70 years of age, employed for more than 10 hours a week and earning an income from that employment.

Anyone who already has money in another Superannuation fund, Approved Deposit Fund or any other form of roll over investment.

You could be:

  • an employee;
  • self-employed;
  • a director of a private company;
  • about to receive a retirement or redundancy package;
  • already retired with money in a roll over fund; or
  • retired and already receiving a pension from a private Superannuation plan

It’s important to remember, though, that a self-managed fund may simply not be a cost-effective way for you to go. This may be due to practical considerations such as insufficient funds or contribution levels. It’s important to have a discussion about the practicality of an SMSF, where we evaluate your capacity, capability and time commitments to determine if its viable for your individual situation. If so, we will show you how and assist you throughout the process.

How can we help you?

Contact us today to organise an initial appointment with a Retirement Planning Specialist.
The specialist can assist you to look at the options you have available and evaluate the impact on your individual circumstances.
We provide a holistic service and can assist you in all areas of your financial life.

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