1Australian Taxation Office - January 2018
Self Managed Superannuation Funds
Running your own super fund offers control of how your nest egg is invested. But there are strict rules to follow, and this is an area where good advice is essential.
There were 597,000 SMSFs holding $697 billion in assets, with more than 1.1 million SMSF members 1. It's an option that works well for many, and if you are comfortable taking responsibility for your nest egg, a SMSF could be the right choice for you.
How do SMSFs work?
In many respects, SMSFs work in much the same way as regular super funds. During your working life you and your employer make contributions to the fund. The money is invested so that over time you build a decent pool of savings for retirement.
Who can start a self-managed fund?
Just about anyone can establish a SMSF though there is a limit of up to four members per fund. There are various costs associated with setting up and running a SMSF so you’ll need sufficient money to make a SMSF worthwhile.
Valuable tax savings
Like all superannuation funds, SMSFs benefit from generous tax concessions. Contributions to the fund plus the returns on the fund’s investments are all lightly taxed so more of your money goes to work for your retirement.
A flexible choice of investments
An SMSF can have some advantages in terms of the mix of investments - within legal guidelines, including direct property. You’ll need a written plan that shows how the fund is investing for the benefit of its members
A SMSF helps you save for retirement
One of the key rules of SMSFs is that the fund can only be used to invest for retirement – you can’t normally access the money before reaching retirement age.
Strict rules apply
SMSFs must be run within strict guidelines. As each member of a SMSF is also a trustee, you are responsible for meeting those rules, and if you’re considering a SMSF it’s essential to be aware of what’s involved.