It seems to be the fashionable financial talk of the moment (if that’s a thing!) – having a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF). But what does this mean?

Most Australians have their super looked after by an industry super fund (e.g. Australian Super) or a retail fund manager (e.g. AMP, Colonial).

You also have the choice of setting up and managing your own super fund – an SMSF.

You can do this by yourself but your accountant and/or financial planner are valuable sources of advice for assistance.

The benefits of SMSF over other super funds include:

  • You have direct control over how your super is invested.
  • You can invest in a greater range of investments e.g. direct property, unlisted investments, collectables, etc.
  • You have better options in regards to nominating your beneficiaries (i.e. how your super is paid out if you pass away) which can be great for blended families.
  • With bigger balances, it can be more cost effective.
  • There are taxation advantages with managing pensions, franking credits and capital gains tax.

The disadvantages include:

  • You will be legally responsible for the fund, its investments and the lodging of tax returns. You need to be aware of & abide by the trust deed rules, the SIS Act (superannuation legislation) and the Corporations Act duties.
  • If you do not abide by the above, you can be personally liable (i.e. fines payable from your personal assets) and even sent to prison.
  • It will require much more time and effort to look after your retirement benefits.
  • The habit of SMSFs to invest predominantly in cash and Australian shares opens them up to investment risks.

So should you consider one?

A lot of retail funds now offer term deposits, direct shares and pass the taxation advantages directly to member accounts so a lot of the old reasoning for using SMSFs no longer applies.

As such a lot of the reasoning for SMSFs now is around owning residential property (including a limited loan arrangement) or purchasing your own business premises.

Self Managed Super Funds are definitely not for everyone but it never hurts to ask your financial adviser the question!

Any advice given is general only and has not taken into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, before acting on any advice, you should consult a financial planner to consider how appropriate the advice is to your objectives, financial situation and needs.
Main image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.
  • i think anything that helps you to boost your options in regards to buying a home, is something that should be considered.


  • I’m not working at the moment, so don’t have a super fund. Always had super funds with big organisations, never a self managed one


  • Good knowledge to know! Thanks for sharing this!


  • I have my own smsf it suits me, but it is worth shopping around to suit your own situations.




  • I have a SMSF and i find it suitable for me but may not suit everyone.


  • This is something you do when you have the knowledge – we went to Stock Exchange seminars weekly for about 8 months to learn how to invest wisely[?] and to every other seminar we could find so that we learnt whatever we could. We do run our own SMSF, but it’s hard work and takes a daily commitment [this can be minutes, or hours, depending on what you are looking at to invest in] and it’s not for everyone. But the self satisfaction of reaping the rewards and not paying someone else huge fees to do what you can do is immeasurably wonderful. We would be completely broke now if we had listened to some of the advisors whose seminars we attended.


  • I personally would leave it to the experts


  • I would never attempt this! Good luck to those who do! We have got an ace of a financial planner! He is the best. I sleep soundly at night not worrying about losing a lot of money as i did years ago .


Post a comment
Add a photo
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by your browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating