Thursday, 23 May 2013

Book review: Self-Managed Superannuation Funds: A Survival Guide

Today, I’m reviewing Self-Managed Superannuation Funds: A Survival Guide by Max Newnham.  Newnham is a chartered accountant and certified financial planner, plus he’s been a regular contributor to The Age and is the author of various other tax and super books.  So he certainly appears qualified to tackle the quagmire of self-managed super funds (SMSF).

Newnham’s objectives for the book are to:
  • Help people make an informed decision about setting up an SMSF
  • Help people understand what their duties are
  • Help people manage their administrative duties
  • Provide examples of what documentation needs to be prepared
  • Provide examples of tax and investment strategies
  • Make the task of being a trustee of an SMSF more enjoyable

The book includes 11 chapters.

Chapter 1: The history of superannuation addresses (you guessed it) the history of superannuation concepts, from the Roman Empire, through civil service pensions, universal old-age pensions, industrial and commercial pensions, personal superannuation funds, and finally to SMSFs.  It includes both Australian and global examples.

Chapter 2: Fund types and self-managed super outlines the five types of super funds (retirement savings accounts, industry funds, commercial funds, small APRA funds, and SMSFs).  It then covers in more detail the main features of an SMSF, and concludes with a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of establishing an SMSF.