Wednesday, 17 April 2013

SMSFs – the basics

While the majority of Australians still house their superannuation in an industry, corporate, or retail fund, a growing number of people are choosing to establish a self-managed super fund (SMSF). 

According to the ATO publication Self-managed super funds: A statistical overview 2010-11 (http://www.ato.gov.au/superfunds/content.aspx?doc=/content/00341497.htm&pc=001/149/030/004/010&mnu=49150&mfp=001/149&st=&cy=), at 30 June 2012, there were around 478,000 SMSFs in Australia holding $439 billion in assets. There were also approximately 913,550 members in the SMSF sector, almost 8% of roughly 11.6 million members in Australian super funds.

SMSFs allow you to control directly where your super is invested and manage your investment costs more closely.  However, there are numerous rules that must be followed, and ongoing compliance and audit requirements.  So you need to ensure that you have the time to commit to managed the fund, or outsource the work, which can fast become more costly than using a retail fund!

Today I’ll provide:
  • Some basic facts about SMSFs
  • Some of the benefits of SMSFs
  • Compliance, cost, and other considerations
  • Additional SMSF resources

Basic facts about SMSFs

An SMSF can have one to four members. Each member is a trustee (or director if there in a corporate trustee).