For many Australians, super is one of the biggest investments, if not the biggest investment, they will ever have. That’s why most people keep their super money in professionally managed super funds. However, some people want the hands-on control that comes with a self-managed super fund. Of course, with added control comes added responsibility and workload.
Self-managed super funds can be suitable for people with a lot of super and extensive skills in financial and legal matters. You must be prepared to research and track your super investments regularly if you want to manage it yourself. Super is your investment for your retirement, so don’t rush in.
How self managed super works
You can set up your own private super fund and manage it yourself, but only under strict rules regulated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). They are sometimes called a ‘self-managed super fund’ (SMSF).
An SMSF can have one to four members. Each member is a trustee.
Running your own fund is complex so think carefully before setting one up. If you set up a self-managed super fund you must:
- Carry out the role of trustee, which imposes important legal duties on you
- Use the money only to provide retirement benefits
- Set and follow an investment strategy that ensures the fund is likely to meet your retirement needs
- Keep comprehensive records and arrange an annual audit by a qualified auditor
Think carefully about your decision. If you’re considering setting up a self-managed super fund you need to do your research and understand your obligations.