What is an SMSF?

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What is an SMSF?

Self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) have become a popular choice for Australians who wish to take on the responsibility and control of managing their retirement savings.

SMSFs perform the same role as other superannuation funds, by investing contributions and making them available to members on retirement. The difference is, generally, that the members of SMSFs are also the trustees – they control the investment of their contributions and the payment of their benefits. With all members being trustees, they are in a position to ensure their interests as members are protected.

To be an SMSF, a superannuation fund must comply with the definition contained in Section 17A of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act).

Key requirements are:
  • It has a trust deed that meets the requirements of the SIS Act
  • The fund has 6 or less members
  • Each member of the fund is a trustee
  • No member is an employee of another member of the fund, unless they are related
  • No trustee of the fund receives any remuneration for their services as a trustee.