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13 Self-Managed Super Funds

SMSF Overview

What is an SMSF?

A self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) is a trust structure, established through a trust deed.  The trust deed and the super laws form the governing rules for the fund. 

To be an SMSF the following basic conditions must be met (section 17A of the Superannuation Industry Supervision (SIS) Act)

  • No more than four members (proposed to increase to six from 1 July 2019)
  • All members are trustees (or directors of a corporate trustee) and there are no other trustees (or directors), unless the fund has only one member
  • No member of the fund is permitted to be an employee of another member (or associate) unless they are relatives
  • Must elect to be regulated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
  • Must be run for the sole purpose of providing retirement or death benefits for the members or the member’s dependents.

The members of an SMSF therefore take on the role of trustee and participate actively in the operation of the fund.

The trustees of the fund are responsible and accountable for the fund’s management, investment decisions and general administration functions. Trustees can seek assistance from SMSF advice and service professionals, however the ultimate responsibility for all actions of the SMSF remains with the trustees.

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