When is a self-managed super fund a good idea…and when is it not?

Self-managed super funds are also known as DIY super funds. They can have up to four members and are generally established by an individual or a family to manage the investment of their own superannuation savings. Members of the fund must also be trustees, unless a corporate trustee is appointed in which case all members must be directors of the corporate trustee. Consequently, members are responsible for all investment and compliance decisions of the fund, including administration, trusteeship and taxation.

Managing your own super can offer greater control and access to a broader range of investment options such as shares, direct property and alternative asset classes not available to conventional super funds. However, they can be costly to run and all members are held responsible for their decisions, such as where legislative compliance is concerned.

When determining whether a self-managed super fund is right for you there are some simple steps you can follow.

  • Seek professional advice
  • Make sure you have enough assets, time and skills
  • Understand the risks and laws
  • Make sure your trust deed and investment strategy are tailored to suit the member
  • Make sure you can meet your record keeping and reporting obligation
  • Make sure you understand the auditing obligation

While self-managed super funds can be a very good way of looking after your super, it is extremely important that trustees understand what they are doing, and if in doubt, get some advice and/or assistance. The penalties for getting it wrong and becoming a non-complying fund are severe.

Your financial adviser is available to provide advice about whether or not a self-managed super fund is right for you. Why not schedule a meeting with your financial adviser now?


Information current as at 14 May 2015. The advice is general in nature only. Before acting you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Policy Document before making any decision about a product.