| 02 9982 2466

Getting started with an SMSF

Starting a self-managed super fund (SMSF) may be a good idea for those after more control over investment choices and fund running costs.

However, those considering an SMSF need to ask themselves some key questions such as:

An SMSF can have no more than four members. All members must be trustees of the SMSF or directors of the trustee company (if a corporate trustee is in place).

Those who are an undischarged bankrupt or have been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty are considered disqualified persons. Such people cannot become an SMSF trustee.

SMSFs are regulated by the ATO, so those in charge need to meet compliance obligations such as lodging annual returns, storing fund documents, preparing paperwork and signing an SMSF trustee declaration.

Before trustees can arrange for their employer (or themselves) to make super contributions to the SMSF, the fund needs to be established. This includes:

Those in charge will also need to draft an investment strategy and invest their super in accordance with that plan.

Those wanting their employer’s superannuation guarantee contributions to be paid to the SMSF need to check if they have fund choice.

Those who have fund choice must complete a standard choice form (SCF) outlining the SMSF’s details and give this to their employer.

The SMSF must have an electronic service address (ESA) which enables it to receive an electronic contribution data message from an employer. SMSF members who are self-employed do not need an ESA.

SMSF trustees also have to decide what happens to their super benefits from their previous super fund. Trustees can arrange to transfer those benefits to their SMSF via the ATO or arrange partial transfer using a form available from the previous fund. Before transferring existing super benefits, it is important to consider the implications the transfer may have on any life insurance cover from the previous fund.

Posted on 9 August '16 by , under Super.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Join Our Mailing List!

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive all the latest financial newsletter updates as well as information on important dates on our business calendar.

Recent Updates

Firm News

What to consider when consolidating your super

The ATO reported that 45% of working Australians were not aware that they had multiple super accounts in 2016. Having multiple super accounts is particularly common for individuals who have had more than one job. If this is you, it is important to identify and manage your super accounts because having more than one can be costly as a result of account fees from multiple funds.To combat this, you may want to consolidate your super, which moves all your super into one account. Not only does this save on fees, but it also makes your super easier to manage and keep track of.

Before consolidating your super, it is important to do the following:

Research your funds' policy
Compare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. Things to assess include:

  • Exit fees
  • Insurance policies
  • Investment options
  • Ongoing service fees
  • Performance of the funds

Check employer contributions
Changing funds may affect how much your employer contributes, as some employers contribute more to certain funds. Check your current accounts to see if changing funds will affect this. Once you have selected a super fund, regardless of whether you choose a new super fund or one of your existing ones, provide your employer with the details they need to pay super into your selected account.

Gather the relevant information
When consolidating your super, you will need to have the following details ready:

  • Your tax file number.
  • Proof of identity. This could include your driver's license, birth certificate or passport.
  • Your fund's superannuation product identification number (SPIN).
  • Your fund's unique superannuation identifier (USI).
  • Details of your previous fund.

Business Calender