Superannuation & SMSF

In recent years there has been an explosion in the number of Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSF) in this country. The number of people with SMSFs has now passed one million. Those one million trustees are part of the largest and fastest growing sector of the Australian super industry.

Retire on the beach
NapaneeGal / iW / CC BY-NC

What is an SMSF?

A self managed superannuation fund is a do-it-yourself superannuation fund of one to four members where each member of the fund also acts as a trustee of the fund. So all members must be the trustees, and all trustees must be the members unless you use a corporate trustee.

Your SMSF must have its own bank account and a trust deed. The deed is basically the rules of operation and sets out who can be a member, how they’re entitled to become a member, what the fund can invest in and who can receive a death benefit. Your own SMSF requires an annual audit and they need to lodge a tax return with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).


One of the main reasons why SMSF’s have grown in popularity in recent years is the fact the members have greater control over the range of investments, the ongoing management fees and ultimately their tax payable.

When contemplating the establishment of your own SMSF you need to weigh up the advantages and the added responsibilities. For many Australians, SMSFs offer 4 major advantages:

  1. More control over your investments
    2. Greater investment flexibility
    3. Generally lower fees than industry and retail funds
    4. Potentially better performance than industry and retail funds

More Control & Flexibility  

As a trustee of your own SMSF, you can control where your retirement savings are invested. Compared to ‘off-the-shelf’ superannuation funds, you have a wider choice of investment options including listed shares, bonds, listed investment companies (LICs), exchange traded funds (ETFs) and direct property. You are also able to transfer personally owned listed shares and managed funds directly into your SMSF plus they can own ‘business real property’ (property used wholly and exclusively for business).You can create your own investment strategy, actively manage the range of investments and adjust your portfolios as markets change.

Note: This information is provided as general information only and does not consider your client specific situation, objectives or needs. It does not represent accounting advice upon which any person may act or act upon in the future. Implementation and suitability requires a detailed analysis of your specific circumstances are required.