Glass jar half filled with coins indicating savings for future through self-managed super funds.


According to the ATO, over 1 million Australian’s now have a Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF).

If you’re reading this, we can assume you might be starting to think about your retirement planning. The good news is, the more effort you put into your financial future starting today, the more financial security you’re going to have when it comes time for you to retire. Seems obvious, but did you know that 81% of retirees end up on the pension, and 95% of Australian’s never achieve financial independence? At PTP, our retirement planners are passionate about making sure your retirement is not just comfortable, but enjoyable too.

If you’re looking for more freedom and control over the investments in your retirement account, you might be considering a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF). With an SMSF, you can choose where to invest and who to trust with your money.

What is a SMSF?

A self-managed super fund is a private super fund – the major difference between that and other types of super funds is that the members of the SMSF are also the director or trustees, meaning they can run the fund for their own benefit. With this power comes responsibility, members are also responsible for complying with all super and tax laws, and it must be run with the sole purpose of providing retirement benefits for members and their dependants.

Advantages of a SMSF

First of all, SMSFs have the same tax rates as other superannuation funds, however through a SMSF you can more easily put in place tax strategies that best benefit you and your situation. For example, if you are planning on retiring early or paying off a mortgage, an SMSF allows you to use the super fund as collateral for the loan (this is not possible with Industry or Retail Super Funds).

Second, being both the trustee and member means you will be more aware of how your super monies are invested and the performance of those investments. This would not be the case with Industry or Retail Super Funds where, due to their size, investment performance is aggregated and not released until many months down the track.

Thirdly, costs of running your fund have come down considerably over time due to advances in technology and competition between service providers. Traditionally, SMSFs were only used by the wealthy due to these high set up and ongoing compliance fees; however these days they are now a much more cost-effective option for all due to advances in technology and competition between service providers.


SMSFs are advantageous in that they allow members to gain greater control over how their superannuation funds are invested and managed. However, there are also some disadvantages associated with having an SMSF:

One of the main things to consider when looking at setting up an SMSF is that they can be time consuming. Researching suitable investment paths takes a lot of time. Running the SMSF is a continuously engaging affair since you must keep tabs on your investment’s performance—from how much money is being made to which assets are performing well or poorly. It’s up to you and your team to decide when and how much money should be withdrawn from these investments, as well as where they should go next. This can be quite challenging for those without a background in finance and tax law!

Other disadvantages include financial & legal risks in decision making, as well as reduced access to dispute resolution bodies.

Need help to setup SMSF? Chat to a professional at PTP

Whether you want to set up a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) or not, you should always seek sound financial advice before making any investment decisions. It is highly recommended that you seek the services of a retirement planner before deciding to setup SMSF.

A certified financial planner can help you identify investment opportunities that you would otherwise miss. They can also help you filter through several investment choices and choose one that’s suitable for your goals and objectives.

Financial advisors can also help you avoid financial and legal pitfalls. If you don’t have the necessary financial or legal skills, a financial advisor can make recommendations on things like taxation, membership, financial compliance, and so on.

A financial advisor can also make day-to-day administration easier by delegating authority to them to make transactions on your behalf.

Through strategic financial planning with a certified financial planner at PTP, you’ll be well on your way to financial freedom in your retirement.

The information contained on this website is for general information only and should not be relied upon unless you first discuss your circumstances with a Licenced Financial Planner.

Perta Thomson Partners Wealth Management Pty Ltd ABN 51 167 290 931 is a Corporate Authorised Representative (ASIC No.451368) of GPS Wealth Ltd ABN 17 005 482 726 | Australian Financial Services Licence Number 254544