The benefits of self-managed super

The establishment of self-managed super funds (SMSF) is gaining incredible momentum in Australia.

We are finding our clients are increasingly seeking our advice on setting-up and managing their SMSFs.

One of the key benefits of self-managed super attributed to the growth of this sector is investment control.

SMSF members have far greater control over the vehicles they choose to invest their retirement savings in, in order to reach their retirement goals, like commercial and residential property, direct shares and hedging strategies as well as many of the more traditional investment options. Some other key benefits are tax control, access to borrowing, and the cost benefits:

Tax Control

As you (and your investment advisor) will decide when to buy and sell assets you are able to analyse the impact of capital gains/losses and maximising franking credits and make decisions that will be as advantageous to you as they can be, within the law of course.

You will also be able to move into pension phase easily and potentially eliminate any capital gains tax payable on assets that would otherwise have to have been sold down before establishing a retail pension fund.


Although rules around borrowing within SMSF differ significantly from personal borrowing arrangements, you are able to access a sensible amount of credit to purchase property within your SMSF – a high cost investment asset that you could not acquire in a retail or industry superannuation funds.


Generally the ongoing management of SMSF is a flat fee that bears no real relation to the level of investments you hold within your fund. That being said, if your investment structures are complicated your accounting and administration fees may also reflect that.

Most trustees will find that a SMSF with a balance of greater than $200,000 will start to see some cost savings, particularly over the long term, compared with asset based fees commonly charged by retail or industry superannuation funds.

What’s the downside?

SMSF is not for everyone. By establishing a SMSF you are becoming a trustee of a super fund and are legally responsible for all decisions. You’ll be running the administrative side of the SMSF and ensuring audits and accounts are complete annually.

You can of course seek professional help, however you are still ultimately responsible for complying with the SIS Act.

The ATO are strict regulators. They’ve made it clear that ignorance is no excuse for not running a compliant SMSF.

You should also note that if you have a small account balance it is likely that the costs of establishment and ongoing management, along with the administrative burden would outweigh the benefits discussed above.


Need some help with your super? Our Financial Coaches LOVE helping members with their goals and working out how to attach money to them. To chat goals with one of the WE team, book in a time for a Free Strategy Session:


Disclaimer: Information contained within this article is of a general nature. Do not be rely upon it when making financial decisions. Please consult a professional financial advisor or planner (like us!) before acting.