SMSF or Self-Managed Super Fund is a private super fund managed by the owner itself. These funds are different to industry and retail super funds. Managing a super fund on your own refers to you putting the retail or industry super fund money in your SMSF. You are allowed to choose insurance and investment. You can add up to four members to your SMSF, including your friends and family.
Managing your own super fund might sound appealing, but the control requires a lot of work and might include a few risks.
The risks and responsibilities of SMSFs
All members of an SMSF hold the responsibility for the fund’s decisions and should follow the rules and regulations.
These responsibilities and risks include:
- The owner of the fund is liable for all the fund’s decisions, even if they consult a professional, or the decision is made by another member.
- The investments may not always bring the returns as expected.
- The owner is responsible for managing the fund even if their circumstances change — for example if the owner loses their job.
- If there’s a relationship breakdown between the members of SMSF, there can be a negative impact on the funds.
- If the owner loses money through theft or fraud, they won’t have access to any special compensation schemes or the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal.
- If the owner is switching from an industry or retail fund to an SMSF, they can lose insurance.
A Time-Consuming and Expensive Procedure
Having control over an SMSF includes a lot of work. Even with the help of professional consultation, the process can be expensive and time-consuming. The owner of the super fund will require enough time to set up the fund and more time to manage ongoing activities, like SMSF loan, researching investments, setting and following an investment strategy, accounting, keeping records, and arranging audits. According to a 2019 SMSF investor report, an SMSF trustee spends around a hundred hours a year managing the fund.
You might have to spend a lot of money on SMSF, including investing, accounting, auditing, tax advice, legal advice, and financial advice. The owner of SMSF requires financial and legal skills in order to understand various investment markets, build and manage an expanded portfolio, set up and manage an investment strategy, comply with tax, regulations and laws, and organise insurance for fund members.
If you want to set up an SMSF and are 100% sure about managing your own super fund, get started with investment options today with SMSF Loan Experts. Consider getting professional consultation for better results. Controlling and SMSF includes having access to a pool of investments, but it comes with some restrictions and risks. If you are planning to set up your self-managed super fund, visit the ATO website to get more insights on risks and regulations. Don’t forget to take up financial advice from a licensed financial adviser.