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New SMSF alert system

The ATO has introduced a new method of updating SMSF trustees of changes to their fund. From 3 February 2020, email and/or text message alert will be sent out when there are changes in the SMSF, such as;

If you receive an alert and are not aware of changes being made to your SMSF, you should contact the other trustees or directors of the corporate trustee of your SMSF and any other representatives authorised to make changes to your SMSF, such as your tax agent.

The ATO messages will never ask you to reply by text or email or to provide personal information, such as your tax file number (TFN), your personal bank account number or BSB.

The system was expected to start back in November 2019 but was delayed due to technical difficulties. The process has now been confirmed to be working as intended.

Posted on 29 January '20 by , under Super.

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Superfund categories and what they mean

There are four different categories of super funds. These have different primary features and are more applicable to certain people than they are to others.

Retail super funds

Anyone can join retail funds. They are mostly run by banks and investment companies:

  • Allow for a wide range of investment options.
  • Financial advisors may recommend this type of fund as they receive commissions or might get paid fees for them.
  • Although they usually range from medium to high cost, there may be low-cost alternatives.
  • The companies that own these funds will aim to keep some of the profit they yield

Industry super funds

Anyone can join bigger industry funds, but smaller ones may only be open to people in certain industries i.e. health.

  • Most are accumulation funds but some older ones may have defined benefit members
  • Range from low to medium cost
  • Not-for-profit, so all profits are put back into the fund

Public sector super funds

Only available for government employees

  • Employers contribute more than the 9.5% minimum
  • Modest range of investment choices
  • Newer members are usually in an accumulation fund, but many of the long-term members have defined benefits
  • Low fees
  • Profits are put back into the fund

Corporate super funds

Arranged by employers for employees. Large companies may operate corporate funds under the board of trustees. Some corporate funds are operated by retail or industry funds, but availability is restricted to employees

  • If managed by bigger fund, wide range of investment options
  • Older funds have defined benefits, but most are accumulation funds
  • Low to medium costs for large employers, could be high cost for small employers

Self-managed super funds

Private super fund you manage yourself. Many more nuances to this type of fund. Most prominent feature is the autonomy over investment.

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