A Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) is a superannuation trust structure that provides financial remuneration to its members in retirement. The main difference between SMSFs and other super funds is that SMSF members are also the trustees of the fund.
The difference between an SMSF and other types of funds is that the members of an SMSF are usually also the trustees. This means the members of the SMSF run it for their benefit and are responsible for complying with the super and tax laws.
Generally a SMSF can only pay a member’s super benefits when the member reaches their ‘preservation age’ and meets one of the conditions of release, such as retirement. The payment may be an income stream (pension) or a lump sum, depending on the circumstances.
Payments of benefits to members that have not met a condition of release are not treated as super benefits – instead, they will be taxed as ordinary income at the member’s marginal tax rate.
An SMSF must run for the sole purpose of proving retirement benefits for the members or their dependants. Don’t set up an SMSF to try to get early access to your super, or to buy a holiday home or artworks to decorate your house. These things are illegal.
A copy of the SMSF Deed is also required when signing a contract of sale.