Friday, 26 April 2013

SMSFs – accessing your super

Accessing your super regardless of whether it is held in a traditional fund or in an SMSF is subject to numerous conditions with lots of fancy names.  To make it even more challenging to understand, the government keeps changing the rules.  So for those of us a couple of decades at least from retirement, it may understandably seem like we may never access these funds!

Today, I’ll recap a lot of the content I discussed earlier in the month around accessing super generally, but stress the differences for SMSFs.

Key topics include:
  • Preserved and non-preserved benefits
  • Preservation age
  • Conditions of release
  • Rollovers and transfers
  • Early access to benefits
  • Paying benefits

Preserved and non-preserved benefits

In general, most of the super held in SMSFs is in the form of what’s known as preserved benefits.  They are called “preserved” because they must be preserved in the fund until the law and your fund's trust deed allows them to be paid.

Preserved benefits include:
  • All contributions made by or on behalf of a member since 1 July 1999
  • All earnings for the period since 1 July 1999
  • Employer eligible termination payments (received before 1 July 2007) rolled over into a super fund