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Questions & Answers - About SMSFs


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What is an SMSF?

A SMSF is your own personal Superannuation Fund that gives you total control over how your Super Benefit is invested. A SMSF is ideal for the DIY Investor who prefers to make their own Investment choices for their retirement rather than leave their Superannuation to be invested by others. Read our article "The great % rort - Examining percentage fees in superannuation" to see an analysis comparing SMSFs against other types of Superfunds.

+ Who Controls a SMSF?

The Trustees control the SMSF and make all the Investment decisions for the SMSF. The Trustees are also responsible for complying with all legal obligations including ensuring that the SMSF prepares and lodges an annual tax return with the ATO. It is important to understand that the SMSF Trustees do not own the SMSF but are simply responsible for the administration, investment and operation of the SMSF.

+ Who Owns the Assets in a SMSF?

The Members own the SMSF. Importantly the SMSF Members have a proportional Interest in the SMSF Assets based on contributions and Rollovers made to the SMSF. This means that if one Member contributes 100% of monies to the SMSF and a second Member contributes no monies, then the Member making the total contributions to the SMSF will own 100% of the SMSF. SMSFs can have a maximum of 4 Members who must all be Trustees.

+ Where can a SMSF Invest?

Under the ESUPERFUND Platform you can only invest in Allowable Investments as detailed on our website. The Investments Allowed under the ESUPERFUND are extensive and cover all asset classes. By specifying what Investments your SMSF can invest in and also assisting in the setup of the accounts in most cases, ESUPERFUND ensures that your SMSF is always compliant with SMSF Laws. Find out more about Investments Allowed.

+ Can I take my Super Benefit in a SMSF when I want?

When you establish a SMSF with ESUPERFUND you are in full control of all the Investment decisions of the SMSF. This means that you have full access to the SMSF Bank Account established for you with the Commonwealth Bank as part of the SMSF Setup Process. As a SMSF Trustee you must ensure that Super monies are only invested for your retirement and not illegally accessed by you to be used for personal purposes. You can only access your Super Benefit for personal purposes when you meet a condition of release such as "Retiring" or reaching at least preservation age. ESUPERFUND provide education to all clients to avoid accessing your Super Benefit before you are legally allowed. Learn more about access to super benefits.

+ How large is the SMSF Sector?

The SMSF Sector has been around for more than 30 years and is Australia’s largest Superannuation Sector by number of Funds and asset size. As at 31 December 2013, there were over 522,000 SMSFs, representing 99 per cent of all Superannuation Funds, and 30 per cent of total Superannuation Assets. The SMSF Sector has almost ONE million Members. The SMSF sector has seen rapid growth in recent years, increasing from $132 Billion to over $532 Billion in the ten years to 31 December 2013. This is not surprising when we consider the total control a SMSF provides as well as the dramatic fee savings!

+ Who regulates SMSFs?

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) regulates SMSFs ensuring that all SMSF's comply with Super Laws.

+ Are there any ATO Publications with more information about SMSFs?

Yes.  The ATO have a range of Publications about SMSFs which should be reviewed carefully when deciding if a SMSF is right for you.

+ What are the advantages or benefits in setting up a SMSF?

There are approximately one million Australians who are currently managing their own SMSF. This figure is increasing dramatically each year and there is a reason for it. Read our article "5 reasons for setting up a SMSF" and find out some specific benefits that an SMSF has while other super funds do not provide.

+ How do I change my Email Address?

To change your email address for correspondence, login to the ESUPERFUND Client Portal and update your SMSF's email address.

+ How do I change my Address Details?

To change your address for correspondence, login to the ESUPERFUND Client Portal and update your SMSF's address.