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Thinking of starting a Self-Managed Super Fund? We work with SMSF specialists who can help you setup and administer a retirement fund you control.

Australia has a compulsory superannuation contribution environment, with most individuals able to choose their own superannuation fund. Generally speaking, you have three options to save for your retirement.

Investing in APRA-regulated funds – these superannuation funds have many individual members and are managed by external trustees, for example AMP Flexible Superannuation Fund, Australian Super, Public Service Superannuation Scheme.

Retirement savings accounts – an account offered by financial institutions (such as a bank) to save for retirement. They are not very popular.

Self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) – superannuation funds with one to four members that are regulated by the ATO. As a general rule all members must also be trustee of an SMSF to ensure they are engaged in the decision-making of the fund.

​SMSFs are the fastest growing sector in the superannuation industry, with approximately 566,735 funds at 31 December 2015. The sector also accounts for approximately 29% of all superannuation savings. However, the current popularity to SMSFs does not mean that they are the right choice for your retirement savings.

A key driver of individuals switching to SMSFs is the wish to gain control over investments. Nevertheless, gaining control over your investments is a trade-off – you take on obligations to operate and manage your SMSF within the bounds of the law. This requires commitment, a significant amount of time and a hands-on approach.

SMSFs are also complex – even seasoned SMSF members require assistance from SMSF professionals. Switching to an SMSF also means that you lose out on benefits available to traditional (or ‘APRA-regulated funds’), such as access to some compensation schemes.

Having said that, for the right individual, taking control of your retirement goals with an SMSF is extremely rewarding. We can refer you to Advisory Services who can help assess whether an SMSF is the ‘right fit’ for you by educating you about the risks and benefits of an SMSF and helping you along every step of the way.