Working out how much your SMSF should cost to manage is never an easy thing to do. Given the nature of SMSFs and the varying differences between trustees, finding easily accessible and relevant comparisons is difficult.
The SMSF Association however has received information from the two largest online SMSF software companies which may help answer this question.
Firstly, it is important to acknowledge that SMSF trustees, who have sought control by managing their own superannuation, often have different needs which result in largely variable fees. For example, some SMSF trustees choose to use extensive optional investment and administration services which can cost upwards of $5,000 just on their own.
The typical SMSF expenses can include:
- A set-up fee (A once off)
- Annual SMSF supervisory levy (Currently $259)
- Accounting fees for an annual financial statement and annual return (Legislated requirement)
- Independent annual audit (Legislated requirement)
- An actuarial certificate (Optional and typically around or below $200)
- Ongoing SMSF administration costs (Optional)
- Professional investment fees (Optional)
- Wind-up fees (Optional)
So what do the software providers who cover up to 70% of the market say the annual operating costs of an SMSF are?
Typical SMSF operating costs (excluding any investment costs) were published by SMSF software provider BGL recently, based on an analysis of over 180,000 SMSFs. The results included median annual operating costs of SMSFs as follows: