Thinking about managing your own super? It can be a rewarding process to manage your super fund, and not just in a financial sense. The most important aspect is you are in control. You make all the decisions, which means the fund will directly reflect your individual needs.
A self-managed super fund (SMSF) is a superannuation trust structure which provides benefits to its members upon retirement. SMSF is regulated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
The difference between SMSFs and other super funds is that SMSF members are also the trustees of the fund. SMSFs can have up to four members and one of the main advantages is the level of control the trustees have in tailoring the fund to meet their individual needs. The trustees are responsible for the decisions made on the fund and compliance with relevant laws.
Note: It’s most cost-effective if you have a large balance as set up costs and annual running expenses can be high.
SMSFs operate under similar rules and restrictions as ordinary super funds.
- Make investments — all SMSF investments are made in the name of the fund and are controlled by the trustees.
- Receive contributions and rollovers
- Pay out lump sums and pensions
SMSF advice can help you weigh up the pros and cons of running an SMSF and help you decide whether it’s right for you. It may also be able to help with the administration and investment decisions for your SMSF. You must understand how it works as you cannot pass on the responsibility of being a trustee or director.
Note: If other members make decisions or you get advice from a professional, you are the one who’s liable for all the decisions made by the fund when you decide to set up an SMSF.
In managing your SMSF, you must:
- Have time to manage an SMSF — Evaluate if you can focus on managing your fund. Many regret setting up an SMSF in the first place as it costs more and involves more effort than many anticipate.
- Know the costs of managing an SMSF — There are costs associated with running and reporting on your SMSF and how you invest the money in the fund. Some of these costs may include: audit fees, reporting fees, valuation of SMSF asset fees, insurance and legal fees, and broker and financial advice fees.
- Have the expertise to manage an SMSF — You are personally responsible for investment decisions, so choosing what to invest in is the hardest aspect of running an SMSF. Making these decisions requires expertise in how to manage investment risk.
For example, cash investments and term deposits may not keep up with inflation — it’s one of the risks associated with investing heavily in cash and fixed income asset classes.
Note: If you’re not sure, ASIC can help you decide whether an SMSF is right for you. They can guide you on how to work out your financial goals, decide how much risk is best for you, get to know the investment, consider tax implications, etc.
For now, you’re still working and far from retirement and you’re super. There may come a time when you need quick access to funds during an emergency.
Easy loans from Cigno can help you with your urgent needs by borrowing a small amount. Cigno offers a 24/7 online platform, so you can apply anywhere, anytime. You can have the cash within hours — even on weekends!
The easy loans that Cigno helps you to apply for are designed to be easily understood. All costs are displayed in advance, with no hidden fees.
You should only ever borrow as little as you need and look to pay it back as quickly as you can.