What is an SMSF?

When you join an industry Superannuation fund, you become a member of a fund where a board of Trustees makes every decision. If you have an SMSF, you take over the role of Trustee and make all of the investment decisions.

As you can imagine, these duties are important and there are certainly rules regarding what you can and can’t do. Importantly the “sole purpose” test covers the reason why you make decisions; “to only provide for the retirement benefits of members. You can’t set up an SMSF for any other auxiliary purpose”.

Most people establish an SMSF in order to invest their Super the way they want.

Many couples start SMSF’s, but you can have up to four members and as little as a single member fund. To run an SMSF, a bank account is established, and investments are purchased in the name of your SMSF. There are a large number of investment options available for an SMSF including; Shares, Cash, Term Deposits, Managed Funds, ETF’s etc.

Because of the administrative and compliance obligations, new trustees need to embrace this and take it on board before they go ahead with establishing a fund. Supervision SMSF helps SMSF trustees to meet these administration and compliance obligations and ensure trustees meet their ongoing responsibilities.

An SMSF is a special Super trust that is governed by Trust Deeds (rules of the SMSF). If you are establishing an SMSF, it is considered best practice to create one with a company to act as the Trustee. We believe at Supervision that it creates maximum flexibility for members when changes to the Trustee need to be made, so we only establish funds with a corporate trustee.

To be able to establish an SMSF, you need to show that you are a fit and reasonable person. People who have been convicted of an offence involving stealing or are currently bankrupt are disqualified from having an SMSF. Our application form asks these questions.

Supervision always encourages those looking to establish an SMSF to do their homework before completing an application.

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