FAQS Super Funds

Q.  How much does it cost to set up a Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF)?

Q.  How long does it take to set up an SMSF?

Q.  How do I order an SMSF through Shelfcom and what is the process?

Q.  What is the difference between a Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) and other regulated super funds?

Q.  Can I set up an SMSF with individual trustees?

Q.  Can I set up an SMSF with a corporate trustee?

Q.  Can I set up an SMSF with only one member?

Q.  What is the maximum number of members that I can have for my SMSF?

Q.  What are some of the advantages of having a corporate trustee?

Q.  What are my obligations as a trustee of an SMSF?

Q.  What is the sole purpose test requirement for an SMSF?

Q.  Can you give me advice on how to set up my SMSF?

Q.  Does an SMSF need to have an Australian Business Number and Tax File Number?

Q.  How often is your super fund deed updated?

Q.  Our SMSF was set up over ten years ago, can and should we update our super fund deed to allow for changes that have been made to the legislation?


Q.  How much does it cost to set up a Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF)?

Our fee for the establishment of your super fund is $485.00 Inc GST. This includes; the preparation of your super fund deed and accompanying documents, all of these documents are professionally bound, and presented to you in your own SMSF folder, upon your request we provide stamping with Revenue SA at no extra charge, and a PDF copy of your deed.

This is an all-inclusive fee, which means you pay just the one price for our service. We are a highly service orientated company and encourage you to contact us at any time.

Q.  How long does it take to set up an SMSF?

We can usually prepare your new SMSF on the day that we receive your instructions, and courier or express post these to you the following day.

Q.  How do I order an SMSF through Shelfcom and what is the process?

To order your Self-Managed Super Fund online, simply click here.

Alternatively, you can download our order form, complete and email or fax this back to us.

As soon as we receive your instructions, we review the information that you have provided to us and if we have any queries or require further information, we will contact you immediately. We then prepare your super fund deed and documents, and these are usually couriered or sent by express post to you within 24 hours of receiving your instructions.

Our super fund deeds can also be tailored to suit your specific situation. Please contact us if you have any special requirements and our solicitors will liaise with you directly.

Q.  What is the difference between a Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) and other regulated super funds?

The difference between both is that generally the members of an SMSF are also the trustees. They control the investments of their SMSF and the payment of their benefits.

Q.  Can I set up an SMSF with individual trustees?

You can, and the individuals named as members need to be trustees and all trustees need to be members. The only exception is for sole member super funds.

The super law also requires; that no member is an employee of another member unless they are related, and no trustee is paid for their duties or services as a trustee.

Q.  Can I set up an SMSF with a corporate trustee?

SMSFs are more commonly set up with a corporate trustee. When setting up your SMSF with a corporate trustee, each member of the fund needs to be a director of the corporate trustee and each director needs to be a member.

The same super law rules apply; that no member is an employee of another member unless they are related, and no trustee is paid for their duties or services as a trustee.

Q.  Can I set up an SMSF with only one member?

It is possible for you to set up your super fund with only one member; however, the trustee needs to be either a corporate trustee or two individuals.

If you have a single member super fund that has a corporate trustee, then the member must be a director of the company. In this scenario, the corporate trustee can be setup with a maximum of two directors only.

If you have two individuals as trustees, then only one of these trustees needs to be a member. The requirement is that you must have two individuals as trustees if choosing this option.

The same super law rules apply; that no member is an employee of another member unless they are related, and no trustee is paid for their duties or services as a trustee.

Q.  What is the maximum number of members that I can have for my SMSF?

The maximum number of members that you can have is four. It does not matter how you set up your super fund, you can only ever have a maximum of four members.

Q.  What are some of the advantages of having a corporate trustee?

  • You can have an SMSF where one individual is both the sole member and the sole director.
  • Continuous succession in the circumstances of the death or incapacity of a member or trustee and this allows for flexibility in estate planning matters.
  • Greater administrative efficiency.
  • Asset protection.

Q.  What are my obligations as a trustee of an SMSF?

As a trustee of an SMSF, you need to:

  • Act honestly and in the best interests of all members at all times.
  • Be in control and exercise skill and diligence in managing your fund.
  • Keep the assets and money of your super fund separate to your personal assets and money.
  • Develop, implement, and regularly review an investment strategy.
  • Consider insurance options for members.
  • Do not allow access to funds early.

As an SMSF trustee you are ultimately responsible for the running your super fund. It is important that you understand your responsibilities, in accordance with the law and governing rules imposed, as outlined in the trust deed of your super fund.

We do provide you with some information booklets and as a further resource; you can download more information from the Australian Taxation Office website by clicking on this link https://www.ato.gov.au/Super/Self-managed-super-funds/.

Q.  What is the sole purpose test requirement for an SMSF?

Your SMSF must meet the sole purpose test. This means that your super fund must be; maintained for the sole purpose of providing retirement benefits to your members, or to their dependants if a member dies before retirement.

It is the trustees’ responsibility to ensure that their SMSF complies with the sole purpose test at all times; including, when investing fund assets, paying benefits upon retirement of members, and to also be eligible for the tax concessions available.

Q.  Can you give me advice on how to set up my SMSF?

Unfortunately, Shelfcom cannot give you advice on how to set up your SMSF. If you are unsure and do need further advice, we highly recommend that you speak to your accountant before proceeding.

If you do not currently have an accountant, please ask us and we can refer you to one depending on where you are located.

Q.  Does an SMSF need to have an Australian Business Number and Tax File Number?

Once the documents have been signed, it is the trustees’ responsibility to arrange or apply for an ABN and TFN and therefore electing that the super fund will be a regulated superannuation fund. This can be done on-line at https://abr.gov.au/. You should also seek advice from your accountant about whether your super fund should register for GST.

Unless the trustee elects for the super fund to be a regulated superannuation fund within 60 days of the commencement date, the super fund may not be entitled to tax concessions as a complying superannuation fund for the remainder of the current income year.

Q.  How often is your super fund deed updated?

Rest assured that our solicitors regularly review and update our super fund deeds so these comply with changes made to the legislation.

Q.  Our SMSF was set up over ten years ago, can and should we update our super fund deed to allow for changes that have been made to the legislation?

We highly recommend that you contact us so you can speak to one of our solicitors concerning your particular situation. In most cases, it would be advisable that your super fund adopts a new deed adhering to the most current changes in legislation.