SMSF Tips & Advice: Appoint Professionals to Help You Set Up and Run Your Fund

By Maria Rogerson

November 7, 2016Finance Superannuation funds

The SMSF is still an uncharted territory for many Australians. If you are one of them and want to start investing funds for your retirement, you’ve probably considered starting your own SMSF. However, you don’t have the necessary knowledge, you’re still hesitant and all the information about the fund is a bit overwhelming to take all at once.

smsf administrators

But worry not, there are companies that offer SMSF administrators that can guide you through the beginning of it all until you feel comfortable running it on your own. The great thing about hiring SMSF administrators is that they’re very flexible. You can decide how much of the work you want to leave to them, and how much you want to handle by yourself. In other words, you don’t have to take an entire package of services if you feel comfortable doing some of them on your own. However, it’s always recommended that you know what you’re paying for and which services you’re getting. Some of the services SMSF administrators provide are: establishment, compliance, audit, taxation and investment. Here are a few components and costs you should consider when comparing service providers to see who offers the best services.

ATO Approved & Experience

First things first, you don’t want to put the fund in the hands of a provider that is inexperienced and that isn’t ATO approved. Experience plays an important role, so you should be looking for a professional provider with many years in the industry. Being ATO approved implies that if anything irregular happens, they will take full responsibility.

Advice and Support

It’s important to understand the quality and level of advice you’ll be receiving and at what cost. If you’re offered a package deal, it’s always recommended to find out whether it includes advice on the matter. You should look for a company that will offer their support and advice every time you ask for it.

Costs and Fees

Fees for establishing a new SMSF vary from around $250 to around $1500. Establishing SMSF for individual trustees is lower than for corporate trustees. Furthermore, it’s of great importance that you understand how each provider structures their fees such as reporting, audits and administration. Ongoing fees can be influenced by the fact whether they’re in the pension or accumulation stage, the member’s age, the total value of the fund, etc.

Hidden Costs

When comparing providers, it’s essential you are aware of the costs that can arise or the hidden costs that aren’t included in the deal or ongoing administration fees. Additional costs that aren’t always included in the providers’ deals might include administration of real estate, tax returns, SMSF online reporting and actuarial certification.