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Responsibilities of SMSF trustees

These include:

  • Responsibility for the ongoing compliance, administration and decision making for your fund
  • The need to maintain your knowledge of investments and legislation surrounding SMSFs
  • The potential for poor performance if your money is not managed wisely
  • The potential for non-compliance in your fund

Before the set up

As a trustee, you willingly take on the responsibility of running your fund. Basic responsibility includes:

  • Deciding who the fund members are
  • Establishing the trust and Trust Deed
  • Setting up a bank account
  • Registering the fund with the Australian Tax Office
  • Creating an investment strategy
  • Creating a plan on when the SMSF end

After the set up

Once you’re set up, here are the responsibilities you need to take:

  • Rolling over an existing super
  • Organising employer contributions
  • Accepting contributions from other members, which must be within limits
  • Making legal and legitimate investments
  • Regularly reviewing investment strategies
  • Documenting and maintaining the fund’s records for up to 10 years

Yearly responsibilities of a trustee

Aside from the basic and follow up responsibilities as a trustee, you also need to do the following every year:

  • Value assets
  • Prepare accounts and financial statements
  • Lodge an annual income tax return and superfund annual return including members’ statements
  • Appoint an approved SMSF auditor to audit the fund annually
  • Comply with investment requirements
  • Pay the self-managed super fund levy and any tax dues

Making super payments

In making super payments, the trustee should:

  • Decide if any assets can be sold
  • Make sure that minimum payments are made every year
  • Appoint actuary when necessary
  • Withhold tax
  • Provide Summary of Payments to other members and the ATO

After the SMSF

Once the fund is finished, a trustee must do the following:

  • Get a final audit
  • Lodge a final return
  • Pay remaining outstanding taxes
  • Pay out or roll over the assets

As a SMSF Trustee, you are legally responsible for ensuring your super fund complies with SIS legislation and the super fund trust deed. These rules bind you to:

  • Act honestly in all matters concerning the fund
  • Exercise the same degree of care, skill and diligence as an ordinary prudent person in managing the fund
  • Act in the best interests of all fund beneficiaries
  • Keep the money and assets of the fund separate from other money and assets (for example your personal assets)
  • Retain control over the fund
  • Develop and implement an Investment Strategy
  • Not enter into contracts or behave in a way that hinders trustees from performing or exercising their functions or powers; and
  • Allow members access to certain information

Please note: People who willingly do the wrong thing in their SMSF face imprisonment and there are significant penalties associated with non-compliance in a SMSF. However, these can be minimised by appointing a SMSF Specialist Administrator and developing a sound investment strategy with your Investment Adviser.

This information is provided by SuperGuardian Pty Ltd, AFSL No. 485643. The information is general information only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should obtain professional advice before acting on any of this information. Please refer to SuperGuardian’s FSG (available at https:// for contact information and information about any remuneration and associations with product issuers.