Self Managed Superannuation
Take control of your Superannuation
In Australia there are now almost 450,000 Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSF’s). This is the fastest growing sector of the superannuation industry in Australia.
What is a Self Managed Superannuation Fund?
A self managed superannuation fund is a do it yourself superannuation fund with between one and four members. All members act as trustees of the fund.
- Establishing a self managed super fund is a very important financial decision, however before you decide to do so, you need to understand the costs. This is where Patison Partners can help you.
- Below is a list of the services we can perform for you at Patison Partners:
- Establishment of Self Managed Superannuation Funds
- Retirement planning and formulation of pre and post retirement strategies
- Preparation of Financial Statements, Tax Returns and Audit
- Administration of Self Management Superannuation Funds
- Formulation of and assistance in managing investment strategies
What are the advantages of an SMSF?
- Investment choice
- Tax advantages
- Estate planning
- Pension planning
- Asset protection
The key driver in SMSF’s has historically been controlling your investments and the ability to access a wider range of investment options. The real benefit, however is not simply in the choice, but rather the ability to have a more sophisticated investment strategy in line with your overall objectives. For example, a business owner can buy the premises in an SMSF and the business can lease the property.
A major benefit of SMSF’s is the control that trustees have over the tax position of the fund. Through proper planning, tax can be minimised and then eliminated altogether in retirement. Assets can also be segregated to provided the ability to structure the timing of asset sales to reduce capital gains tax.
There is even a strategy whereby current and future members can benefit from tax deductions for future years on the death of a member.
The estate planning benefits of an SMSF are often one of the least publicised benefits as your will does not deal with your superannuation benefits. This includes being able to leave tax advantaged income streams to dependants, and control when and how they receive lump sum payments. When considered as part of the overall estate planning, a SMSF can assist in obtaining great tax benefits.
A few years ago new rules were introduced which allowed superannuation funds to borrow money under a certain type of arrangement. This arrangement can only be accessed by SMSF’s, however they have next to no application in large commercial funds. This links to the “investment choice” benefit above. This makes it possible for a SMSF to acquire property, where there is some cash spare, when this would otherwise not be possible.
For most people (but not all – depending on your account balance) the cost of running a SMSF can be lower than that of a retail superannuation fund. As a general rule, when a fund balance reaches $200,000 this is the point at which the costs equalise. Commercial super funds tend to charge a flat percentage rate, whereas the base compliance costs tend to be fixed. So as the balance of a fund increases, the cost advantage also increases.
Another point to consider is that a husband and wife can join the same super fund, so even if they both had $100,000 each – combined they have $200,000m thus making a SMSF a viable option.
For members reaching the pension age, the SMSF allows the most seamless transition from accumulation into pension streams. It also enables significant planning to occur, involving among other things tax effective asset disposals.
The asset protection provided in a SMSF is critical for a business owner, given that we operate in a highly litigious society and one where bankruptcies are also increasing. In either of these events, your superannuation is protected, even if you withdraw this to live on. This also applies to a commercial super fund as well.