What is a SMSF

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What is a self managed superannuation fund?

A Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF), as with any other superannuation entities, is a trust fund but with the following characteristics:

  • the fund has four or fewer members;
  • no member of the fund is an employee of another member, unless related;
  • each member is a trustee of the fund; and
  • no trustee of the fund receives any remuneration for their services as a trustee.

The trustee of a SMSF can be a single member or a company in which the members must be the only directors. Either way all SMSF members are required to be actively involved in the management of the fund, as either trustees or directors of the trustee company.

The advantages of a SMSF include:

  • enhanced control and flexibility in investment decisions and strategies;
  • a greater array of investment options;
  • the ability to borrow to invest;
  • lower Fee’s than managed funds;
  • tax efficacy with investment choice and timing; and
  • simplified estate planning.

Whilst there are many advantages inherent in SMSF’s, these come with a number of responsibilities involved in their formation and operation. A trustee of a SMSF must act in accordance with the provisions of the funds trust deed, the provisions of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (“SIS Act”) and the SIS Regulations, the Corporations Act 2001, and other general laws imposed under tax and trust law. The penalties can be severe for a contravention of these requirements. It is therefore important to receive professional advice before committing to a SMSF.

The team at Ferguson Cannon Lawyers are happy to facilitate the formation and operation of your SMSF. Please contact us on 07 5443 6600 and speak to Byron Cannon or Sam Barber.

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Category: Business & Corporate Services, Fact Finders, General, SMSF, superannuation

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