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Is a SMSF right for you?

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Is an SMSF right for you?

With over 1.1 million Australians choosing to manage their own Self-Managed Super Fund, it has become a popular option for those wanting more control over their retirement savings.

The latest statistics from March 2023, released by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), shows that there are 606,217 SMSFs made up of over 1.1 million members who manage around $889.5 billion in assets in Australia. This represents about 25% of the total $3.5 trillion invested in superannuation.

There are several ways Australians can invest in their financial futures. The SMSF option continues to be popular as it gives members complete control over their retirement. But is a SMSF right for you?


What is a SMSF?

In essence a SMSF is a private superannuation fund regulated by the ATO. It can have up to six members (including yourself) who also act as the trustees (or directors of the corporate trustee). You and the other trustees oversee the decisions and strategy that is aligned with your retirement needs. Having control over your investment portfolio offers increased flexibility in shaping your retirement funds. This provides a valuable opportunity to invest in areas you’re passionate about, spanning from real estate to the stock market. It also affords you the chance to operate your fund with potentially lower costs, as expenses vary depending on the chosen investment types.

Piggy bank and family cutouts

How to tell if a SMSF is right for you?

The question “is it right for you?” will depend on your individual circumstances and what your goals for retirement are. If you’re wanting to take control of your retirement savings and like having the flexibility to invest in assets of your choice, then an SMSF may be right for you. The idea of being in charge of your financial future is attractive to many Australians (1.1 million in fact) – but in order for this to be truly suitable and sustainable, you need dedication.


Why select a SMSF?

The main reasons Australian choose to start an SMSF are:


Selecting an SMSF allows you to take charge of your financial future. The desire for increased control over superannuation assets and investments is the primary driving force behind setting up SMSFs. As a trustee, you hold the responsibility for deciding where to invest your funds.


SMSFs offer the highest level of investment flexibility and choice. SMSFs offer increased flexibility, allowing direct investment in property, commodities, unlisted companies, as well as unlisted managed funds and trusts, in addition to traditional shares, fixed interest and managed funds. For business owners, this can even include investing in property related to your business. SMSFs ability to create a diversified, tailored portfolio is unmatched by institutional superannuation funds.

Unhappy with Your Current Fund

Taking control of an SMSF also means that trustees have continuous oversight of their superannuation savings. Many individuals decide to establish an SMSF due to dissatisfaction with the performance of their current superannuation fund. The fees might be too high, the investment choices too limited or they want to buy property for their business to operate within. A SMSF offers control the amend the things you do not like about your current super fund.

Strategize Your Tax Planning

SMSFs also offer additional flexibility in managing the tax implications of your fund. The flexibility of an SMSF empowers individuals to control when contributions are made and when investments are bought and sold, all for achieving the best possible retirement savings outcome. SMSFs also facilitate a seamless transition from the accumulation phase to the pension phase.

Plan Your Estate

With proper planning and the correct structure (company or individual), an SMSF can offer added flexibility and certainty concerning when and to whom death benefits are distributed from your retirement assets.

Farming family

Is a SMSF cost effective?

In a study conducted by Rice Warner in conjunction with the SMSF Association -“Costs of Operating self-managed super fund” – SMSFs with $200,000 or more were found to be cost competitive with both industry and retail funds.

For balances of greater than $250,000, SMSFs become the cheapest alternative provided the Trustees undertake some of the administration, or, if seeking full administration, choose one of the cheaper services. SMSFs with total balances of $500,000 and above were found to generally be the cheapest alternative.

Regulations and Compliance paperwork

Compliance and regulations

SMSF compliance and regulations have changed regularly in the recent past, so it can be a challenge to stay on top of all the changes. It can be hard for someone who isn’t versed in investment strategy to come up with a comprehensive plan. Therefore, it is important to work with experienced professionals to get expert advice such as team here at Pitcher Partners Newcastle and Hunter.

Whether you need help with setting up a SMSF, managing your SMSF, tax planning services, SMSF compliance and administration or technical support, our superannuation team help. With a dedicated team of industry experts advising your strategy, even those who aren’t as familiar with the industry but want control over their own financial future can do so.


If you’re interested in starting a SMSF, talk to our specialised superannuation team at Pitcher Partners Newcastle and Hunter for more advice and to see if a self managed super fund is right for you.


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