What's an SMSF?

Like other super funds, SMSFs help you save for retirement. The big difference is that an SMSF is run by you, which is where the extra control, effort and responsibility comes in.

By choosing to manage your super through an SMSF, all trustees are responsible for both the selection and management of the fund’s investments and ensuring that the fund complies with relevant laws. 

How does an SMSF work?

An SMSF is a trust structure, requiring a trustee. An SMSF must be run for the sole purpose of providing retirement benefits for its members or their dependants. The trustee is legally responsible for the management of the fund’s assets and has the job of running the fund and ensuring it complies with the law. An SMSF needs to have:

  • Four or less members
  • Each member of the fund being either an individual trustee, or a director of the corporate trustee, and each trustee or director being a member of the fund (note, in the case of a single member SMSF, a non-member trustee/director may be required or allowed – here’s info from the ATO)

No member of the fund can be employed by another member of the fund unless those two people are related. The trustees of an SMSF aren’t eligible to be paid for that role.


Things you should know

This information is prepared by Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL 234945. Registered office: Ground Floor, Tower 1, 201 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW 2000. For terms and conditions of the products mentioned, please visit any of our branches, or call us on 1800 138 363, Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm AEST.

The information contained may include general advice but does not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any particular individual or trustee of a self-managed super fund.

You should assess with the help of legal, financial and taxation advice, whether the information is appropriate in light of your own circumstances before acting on it.