A self-managed super fund, or SMSF for short, is a do-it-yourself super scheme designed for those who want direct control over how their retirement savings are invested.

SMSFs in Australia

SMSFs are a common vehicle for super savings with almost 600,000 SMSFs in Australia holding approximately 27% of total super sector assets.  As at 30 June 2020, the average member balance was $695,000. While an SMSF can have up to six members, almost 70% of SMSFs have two members. People typically start their SMSF in their mid-40s.

There are strict rules around SMSFs, and these rules place a lot of responsibility on anybody operating one. SMSFs aren’t suitable for everyone, and you need to think about both the advantages and disadvantages before deciding to set one up for yourself.

Popular for a reason

The reason why so many Australians have SMSFs is because of the benefits of establishing, investing in and operating an SMSF. A well-run SMSF can:

    • allow full control over how, where and when to invest retirement savings;
    • provide greater transparency compared with managed funds, where specific investment disclosures at any given time are limited;
    • be cost effective and will, generally, have lower management fees overall. This is dependent on the balance and for smaller balances (say, less than $500,000), they are not cost effective;
    • offer greater flexibility and provide for multiple members to run a mix of accumulation and pension accounts;
    • provide for more flexible and effective tax management of income and capital gains, particularly when moving from accumulation to pension phase;
    • offer the ability to purchase business premises within the super fund; and
    • give greater scope for estate planning. 

    A well-worn path

    Given the number of already established SMSFs in Australia and the number of funds continuing to be established, setting up an SMSF is a relatively well-worn path.  However, to ensure your SMSF is set up in a way that meets both your needs, and the legal requirements, the process to commence an SMSF requires careful handling.

    McEwen Investment Services has 20 years of specialist expertise in SMSFs. We can help you decide if an SMSF is the best option for your retirement savings. And if you choose to run with an SMSF, we can help with all aspects of doing so – from setting up the SMSF, administration and managing investments, to arranging accounting and audit activities.

    By choosing to have us assist with your SMSF, you’ll be at the helm, but with the benefit of expert guidance and advice every step of the way.

    General disclaimer

    This content is intended only to provide a summary and general overview of the subject matter covered. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute advice. We attempt to ensure that the content is accurate and current but we do not warrant the content nor its currency. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.

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    If you’d like to know more, please call us on 1300 623 936 to arrange a time to meet and we can discuss your particular requirements in more detail.

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