Friday, 8 November 2013

How SMSFs work

How SMSFs work

source: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/superannuation-and-retirement/self-managed-super-fund-smsf

You can set up your own private super fund and manage it yourself, but only under strict rules regulated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
An SMSF can have between one to four members. Each member is a trustee (or director if there is a corporate trustee). Running your own fund is complex.
When you run your own SMSF you must:
  • Carry out the role of trustee or director, which imposes important legal duties on you
  • Use the money only to provide retirement benefits
  • Set and follow an investment strategy that ensures the fund is likely to meet your retirement needs
  • Keep comprehensive records and arrange an annual audit by an approved SMSF auditor

Important

If you decide to set up an SMSF you are personally liable for all the decisions made by the fund even if you get help from a professional or another member makes the decision.
If you're running an SMSF you will typically need:
  • A large amount of money in the fund to make set up and yearly running costs worthwhile
  • To budget for ongoing expenses such as professional accounting, tax, audit, legal and financial advice
  • Plenty of time to manage the fund
  • Financial experience and skills so you are more likely to make sound investment decisions
  • Separate life insurance, including income protection and total and permanent disability cover
You can pay an adviser a fee to do the administration or help with the investment decisions for your SMSF. However, be sure you understand what your adviser is doing because you cannot pass on the responsibility of being a trustee or director.