Sound SMSF advice for your retirement

Posted on 19/10/2015 by Michael Klem in Superannuation
Michael Klem
Michael Klem is a Principal within the Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) group in the Sinclair Wilson Warrnambool office. Michael provides his clients with specialist advice in all aspects of Self-Managed...

Do you have an SMSF (Self-managed Super Fund) or are you looking to set one up but don’t know where to start? The wrong advice can be costly and you need highly qualified professionals to guide you through the process to ensure your retirement is a comfortable one.

Based in Warrnambool Victoria, we are one of the largest private accounting firms in Australia with a specialist SMSF division. We can guide you through the process of understanding how a Self-managed Super Fund works, establishment and annual reporting requirements.

Although SMSF’s are highly regulated, we take the time to assist you in understanding your role as the Trustee of a Fund to provide a seamless process.

With over 1,000 Funds under under the guidance of Sinclair Wilson in Warrnambool and our other branches, we ensure that your is administered in an efficient and compliant manner. However, this is only part of the picture – we provide tailored advice to add value and ensure you get the best result possible through careful tax planning.

Some of the key reasons why people establish an SMSF are:

  • Flexibility
  • Control
  • Cost savings
  • Retirement opportunities

Flexibility

An SMSF provides a unique structure that can be used to invest in different asset classes from traditional investments to other asset classes preferred by the member including but not limited to:

  • Term Deposits
  • Shares
  • Managed Funds
  • Private Unit Trusts / companies: for example, commercial property acquired using either a geared or non-geared unit trust
  • Direct property ownership
  • Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements – using an SMSF to borrow to purchase a property directly
  • Collectables

Members also have the ability to transfer certain assets they already own directly into the Fund including listed shares and business real property.

Control

Another preference for running a SMSF is the ability for clients to maintain complete control over their investments and investment decisions.

An SMSF is an effective retirement vehicle and the ability to invest in the asset classes noted above can be viewed as an extension of how one would otherwise invest personally (with some exceptions). Accordingly, SMSF Trustees have great satisfaction in managing their own affairs in a tax concessional environment.

Cost Savings

In conjunction with the flexibility and control noted above, an SMSF can be administered in a very cost effective manner. This is particularly relevant for example where members (up to four) can effectively pool their existing superannuation entitlements into an SMSF. This can create cost efficiencies including the removal of multiple account keeping fees.

Furthermore, the compliance costs of running an SMSF are not based as a percentage of the value of the Fund and this can become increasingly beneficial as the member entitlements grow.

Retirement Opportunities

SMSF’s provide a unique vehicle for members approaching retirement age. A Fund has the ability to enable members to move seamlessly from accumulation mode to pension mode and also to continue to make contributions to the Fund (a combination of both accumulation and pension members). This is one example of the flexibility that can be achieved with regard to taxation and retirement opportunities.

With careful planning, an SMSF can provide for:

  • Tax free income in retirement including the full refund of franking credits from dividends
  • Tax free capital gains including the sale of shares and property
  • Estate planning opportunities, for example, the ability to draw down and recontribute an amount tax-free into the Fund (this amount is also tax free if subsequently paid to non-tax dependents).

To maximise the significant benefits that can be achieved throughout the full life cycle of a SMSF from inception to retirement and estate planning matters requires careful planning.

If you would like to learn more, please contact us directly.