Self-Managed Super Funds

Setting up an SMSF

The Trust Deed

The trust deed is a legal document that sets out the rules for the SMSF. This includes things like the fund’s objectives, who can be a member and how benefits are paid. The trust deed and super laws together form the fund’s ‘governing rules’.

The trust deed should be prepared by a legal professional. Service providers and advisers may have standard trust deeds that you can buy, depending on the type of structure you choose you may need specialist advice.

Trustees need to understand, sign and date the trust deed and ensure it is properly executed according to state or territory laws. It is important to keep it in a safe place.

ATO registration

In order for an SMSF to be considered a complying fund (and thus maintain the concessional tax rate of 15% on earnings and contributions, when in accumulation phase), it needs to be registered with the ATO, and elected to be regulated by the ATO. The trustees will also need to apply for a TFN and ABN and register for GST (if required). These steps must be done within 60 days of set up of the SMSF. If this step is missed, tax concessions will not apply and employers are unable to claim a tax deduction for their mandatory contributions.

As it can take up to 28 days for the ATO to issue an ABN and TFN, and an additional seven days to update the ATO register than an SMSF is a regulated SMSF, it is best to register the fund as soon as possible.