A Complete Guide to Setting Up Your Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF)

If you’re looking to take control of your superannuation and invest your retirement savings in a way that aligns with your personal investment goals, values, and risk appetite, setting up a self-managed super fund (SMSF) might be the right option for you.

However, before diving into the process of SMSF setup, it’s important to understand what’s involved, the requirements, and the responsibilities that come with being a trustee of an SMSF.

Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up your SMSF:

Determine Your Eligibility:

SMSFs are generally suitable for those with a higher level of financial literacy, who have a significant amount of superannuation savings, and who are willing to take on the responsibility of managing their own retirement savings. To be eligible to set up an SMSF, you need to be over 18 years of age, have no criminal convictions, and be an Australian resident.

Choose Your Trustees:

SMSFs must have between one and four trustees, all of whom must be members of the fund. Trustees can be individual members, or a corporate entity where each member is a director of the company. Choosing the right trustees is important, as they will be responsible for the management and investment decisions of the fund.

Develop Your Investment Strategy:

One of the primary benefits of an SMSF is the ability to create a personalized investment strategy that aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance. Your investment strategy should take into account factors such as your current financial situation, future retirement needs, and investment experience.

Set Up Your Fund:

To set up your SMSF, you’ll need to register it with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN) and Tax File Number (TFN). You’ll also need to set up a bank account for the fund and establish the trust deed.

Roll Over Your Super:

Once your SMSF is established, you can roll over your existing superannuation balances into the fund. This can involve transferring funds from other superannuation accounts or consolidating multiple accounts into one SMSF.

Decide on your investment strategy:

One of the benefits of an SMSF is the flexibility to choose your own investment strategy. This can include investments in shares, property, term deposits, and more. However, it’s important to have a clear investment strategy in place before you begin setting up your SMSF.

Monitor and Manage Your Investments:

As trustees of an SMSF, you are responsible for managing the fund’s investments and ensuring compliance with superannuation laws and regulations. This involves ongoing monitoring of the investment portfolio, regular reporting to the ATO, and engaging professional advisors where necessary.

Choose your trustees:

When setting up an SMSF, you’ll need to choose who will act as the trustees. This can include individual trustees or a corporate trustee. Each trustee will have specific responsibilities and obligations, so it’s important to carefully consider who you choose.


In conclusion, setting up an SMSF can be a complex process, but it can provide greater control, flexibility, and tax efficiency for those willing to take on the responsibility of managing their own retirement savings. It is important to seek professional advice and guidance throughout the process to ensure that you are meeting all legal requirements and making informed investment decisions that align with your financial goals.

No matter what you are investing for, make sure you are taking the necessary steps to protect your money. The infographic below has some tips for the best cybersecurity practices to protect your money for your future.

Provided by Chicago Partners – providing wealth management for high net worth individuals

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