Setting Up Your SMSF

We’ve developed an easy to follow, step-by-step approach to get you started. 

Set up your fund

Establishment Documentation

Getting your SMSF structure right is very important for a good outcome. We’ll talk with you about what you want and then develop the structure you need. Once we have your approval to proceed, we take care of the application process and within a matter of days, your establishment documentation is ready to go. This includes:


Trust Deed


Trustee and member applications, consents and declarations


Death benefit nominations


Trustee establishment minutes


Trustee investment strategy (set-up & compliance) minutes


Product disclosure statement

If you have nominated a corporate trustee, your kit will also include:


Company constitution


Director, Secretary and Public Officer consents


Share applications and certificates


Director minutes


SMSF registration appointment form

We recommend setting up a corporate trustee.

Registration with the Taxation Office

Once established, the fund is registered with the Taxation Office. As part of this process we apply for a Tax File Number (TFN), an Australian Business Number (ABN) and for Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration (if required).

Setting up a Bank Account

Once the fund has been established and registered, we can assist you to setup a bank account in the name of the SMSF to manage it’s operations and accept contributions and rollovers from other superannuation funds. Although we are happy for you to open an account with your preferred financial institution, should you wish, we can arrange for a Macquarie Cash Management Account to be opened in the name of the SMSF.


Develop your Investment & Insurance Strategy

It is a requirement that every SMSF have a documented Investment and Insurance Strategy.

The purpose of the strategy is to outline the plan that you will follow to achieve the SMSF’s investment and insurance objectives.

If you are unsure or would like some professional advice, our financial planners can help you. Investment advice is not commission based.


Start using your new SMSF

Rollover Existing Superannuation Accounts

After obtaining an ABN you are able to arrange for your existing superannuation benefits to be transferred to your new SMSF. We assist with all relevant forms and instructions for the rollover of your existing benefits.

Set up Life Insurance and TPD Policies

You should be aware that once you have requested the rollover of your existing benefits, any insurance policies associated with those will then be cancelled. Should you require new life or TPD policies, our trusted life insurance advisors will contact you to select and set up appropriate insurance policies.

Advise Employers of new contributing details

We will notify all contributing employers of your new SMSF details so that they can commence to pay your superannuation guarantee and other contributions to your new SMSF.

Start Investing

 One of the key benefits of having your own SMSF is the flexibility and control around the type of investments your SMSF may undertake.

Assistance or guidance in investing your superannuation benefits is always available.

We can arrange for one of our Financial Planners to contact you.

Setting up your SMSF FAQ's

What is a SMSF?

A self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) is a tool used to help people save money for retirement.  Unlike other superannuation funds, SMSFs are independently managed so the owners of these funds have full control over their investments and ultimate retirement savings.

What is the definition of an SMSF for Australian Taxation Office (ATO) purposes?

The ATO defines SMSFs as superannuation funds which:

  • Have less than 5 members
  • Each individual trustee of the fund is a fund member
  • Each member of the fund is a trustee or director of the corporate trustee
  • No member of the fund is an employee of another member of the fund, unless those members are related
  • No trustee of the fund receives any remuneration for his or her services as a trustee.
What are the requirements of an SMSF?

There are several ongoing administration requirements, including:

  • SMSF annual tax return
  • Benefit reporting where required
  • Annual fund audits
  • Annual member statements outlining member benefits
  • Maintaining an investment strategy.
Do I have enough superannuation to establish an SMSF?

Everyone has a different opinion on the amount of funds required to establish an SMSF.  The ATO has estimated that a minimum of $200,000 is essential to operating a viable superannuation fund, given the costs of owning an SMSF.  Ultimately, it is important to seek the expertise of a financial adviser so they can determine the appropriate figure for you.

What is a Trust Deed?

A Trust Deed is essentially a book of rules that the superannuation fund must abide by.  A Trust Deed is the first major piece of documentation prepared during the establishment of an SMSF.

Who can be a trustee of an SMSF?

A person 18 years or over and not under a legal disability (bankrupt or mental impairment) can be a trustee of a superannuation fund unless they are a disqualified person. 

A disqualified person is one who:

  • Has ever been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty
  • Has ever been subject to a civil penalty order under the SIS Act
  • Is considered insolvent under administration
  • Is an undischarged bankrupt, or
  • Has ever been disqualified by a regulator.

A person under 18 years of age can not be trustee of a superannuation fund.  A parent or guardian can be a trustee for a member who is under 18 years of age and does not have a legal personal representative.

Note that a corporate trustee of a SMSF also must not be a disqualified company.

A disqualified company is one which:

  • Has a responsible officer who is a disqualified individual
  • Has had a receiver or provisional liquidator appointed, or
  • Has had an action commenced to wind up the company.

A declaration needs to be signed each year by all trustees or directors, stating that they are not disqualified.

What are the duties and responsibilities of a trustee?

Your trustee duties and responsibilities include:

  • making sure the purpose of the fund is to provide retirement benefits for members,
  • preparing an investment strategy and making investment decisions in accordance with that strategy,
  • accepting contributions and paying benefits (income streams and lump sums) in accordance with super laws and the fund trust deed,
  • advising us of any changes in trustees, directors or members within 28 days of the change occurring,
  • ensuring an approved SMSF auditor is appointed for each income year,
  • undertaking administrative tasks such as lodging annual returns and record keeping.
What is the ‘Sole Purpose’ test?

The ‘Sole Purpose’ test outlines that a superannuation fund must be maintained for the purpose of providing benefits upon a member’s retirement, or to a member’s dependants in the case of a member’s death.  Trustees need to ensure that all investment decisions satisfy the ‘Sole Purpose’ test.

What investments can I have within my SMSF?

Subject to the rules that apply, these investments include, but are not limited to:

  • Cash and Fixed Interest
  • Shares
  • Managed Funds
  • Real Property
  • Artwork/Collectibles
What are the benefits of an SMSF?
  • Investment Flexibility - you can choose the type of investments you want for your superannuation fund.  This flexibility allows SMSF members to actively manage their investments.
  • Investment control - you can decide how best to invest your superannuation fund’s assets and how to make money for your fund.
  • Estate Planning - You can tailor the distribution of benefits payable on death in the most tax effective manner for your dependants.  Sophisticated strategies are available for complex estate planning situations.
  • Tax Planning - Like other superannuation funds, a SMSF has the lowest tax rates of any structure in Australia with a maximum tax rate of 15%.
  • Asset Protection - As your superannuation entitlements are protected from your creditors you can use your fund to protect at least some of your wealth.
  • Borrowing - New rules were introduced which allowed superannuation funds to borrow money under a particular type of arrangement.
  • Pension Planning - For those members nearing pension phase, a SMSF allows the most seamless transition from accumulation into flexible income streams.

Have more questions? Contact us today.

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