Superannuation PlanningAs a trustee of a Self Managed Super Fund you are ultimately responsible for running your fund. It is therefore imperative that you understand the duties, responsibilities and obligations required of you. To assist you we have put together some useful information from the Australian Tax Office’s guide to SIS Act requirements.

Please note that although comprehensive, this article by no means represents the complete information you need to know. For more information, please refer to www.ato.gov.au

In accordance with the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, the minimum requirements of SMSF trustees bind you to:

When it comes to managing the fund’s investments you are, as the trustee, required to prepare and implement an investment strategy and regularly review it.

An appropriate investment strategy should specify the investment objectives of the fund and should be unique to the requirements of the fund and its members. It should also detail the investment methods the fund will adopt to achieve these objectives.

For example, the strategy should aim to maximise member returns while also considering the risk involved. It should incorporate diversification across multiple asset classes to reduce the risk of putting all your eggs in one basket. The fund should be in a position to pay benefits to retiring members and any administration costs, and should consider the needs of its members such as age, income and retirement needs as these will affect the objectives of the fund.

It is important to note that all investment decisions should be made in accordance with the strategy laid out for the fund. If you are unsure of whether a decision will align with the overall strategy objectives, you should obtain investment advice.

Also remember that it is essential to regularly review and update the strategy, at least annually, to ensure it remains relevant and effective.

Super funds are restricted with regard to investments and acquisition of assets. These restrictions exist to protect the fund members from unnecessary risk.

These restrictions are as follows:

It is imperative that you, as an SMSF trustee, understand your obligations and the restrictions placed on self managed superannuation funds and their trustees, in particular, the rules surrounding investment strategies. You must ensure that the investment strategy of your fund is relevant to its aims and delivers upon those objectives. If you are interested in obtaining more detail on the issues discussed above, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 07 3833 3999.

Source: Responsibilities of Trustees, Australian Tax Office.