Self-Managed Super Fund: Managing Your Superannuation

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.

Self-managed super funds (SMSF)

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.

How does SMSF work?

SMSFs operate under similar rules and restrictions as ordinary super funds.

SMSFs have their own tax file number (TFN), Australian Business Number (ABN) and transactional bank account that allows them to:

  • 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.

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Managing your 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.

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Easy loans in Australia

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.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that Cigno Loans’ articles do not replace advice from an accountant or financial advisor. All information provided is intended to be used as a guide only, as it does not take into account your personal financial situation or needs. If you require assistance, it is recommended that you consult a licensed financial or tax advisor.


Ordered by the Federal Court of Australia

The Federal Court of Australia has found that Cigno Australia Pty Ltd (Cigno Australia) and BSF Solutions Pty Ltd (BSF Solutions) have breached the law by engaging in unlicensed credit activity and charging prohibited fees.

In the period from July 2022 to 3 October 2023, over 100,000 consumers have been lent a total of $34 million, and charged fees of over $70 million, under the ‘No Upfront Charge Loan Model’ operated by BSF Solutions and Cigno Australia. At no time has either BSF Solutions or Cigno Australia held an Australian Credit Licence.

The Court also found that Mark Swanepoel (director of Cigno Australia) and Brenton James Harrison (director of BSF Solutions) were involved in these breaches of the law.

With effect from 24 May 2024, the Court has granted permanent injunctions preventing Cigno Australia and BSF Solutions from:

  • demanding, receiving or accepting fees or charges, including amounts of loan principal, from consumers in relation to credit provided under the ‘No Upfront Charge Model’; and
  • engaging in further credit activity pursuant to the ‘No Upfront Charge Loan Model’, including by entering into new agreements with consumers, for so long as they do not hold an Australian Credit Licence.

Cigno Australia was ordered by the Court to, by 5th July 2024, send written communications to consumers who between July 2022 and December 2022 entered into agreements with Cigno Australia and BSF Solutions under the ‘No Upfront Charge Loan Model’.

The Court will later determine whether (among other things) Cigno Australia and Mark Swanepoel ought to pay a pecuniary penalty in respect of this conduct, and whether Mark Swanepoel should be restrained from carrying on a business engaging in credit activity.

Cigno Australia, BSF Solutions, Mr Swanepoel and Mr Harrison intend to appeal the decision of the Court and have filed an application for leave to appeal. If the appeal is successful, some or all of the orders of the Federal Court of Australia may be set aside.

Where can you get more information?

Where to go for further support

You can access legal advice in your state at: Free legal advice –

If you are experiencing trouble with debt, or money worries in general, contact:

  • the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 or online chat (9:30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday).

If you need someone to talk to, contact:

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24 hours) or their crisis support online chat or
  • Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36 (24 hours) or their webchat