Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF)

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SMSF Awards & Reports

 

SMSF Savings Accounts – Star Ratings Report

September 2014

 

SMSF Lending – Star Ratings Report

November 2016

More Information

What is a self-managed super fund (SMSF)?

A self-managed super fund, or SMSF for short, is a superannuation fund that you manage yourself, whereas other superannuation accounts are managed by a super fund. An SMSF can have up to four members, all of whom are Trustees of the fund.

When you open an SMSF you take on the role of super fund Trustee. The Trustee has full responsibility for the legal and regulatory requirements that come with running a super fund, as well as controlling all assets owned by your SMSF.

Unlike public offer funds (industry funds or retail funds), SMSFs are regulated by the Australia Taxation Office (ATO) and there are a number of responsibilities that Trustees must abide by – with significant potential penalties for getting it wrong.

Learn more about how SMSFs are run here.

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How does Canstar compare SMSF products?

Canstar rates two products designed for self-managed super funds:

  1. SMSF loans
  2. SMSF savings accounts

How Canstar compares SMSF loans

Canstar’s SMSF Loan Star Ratings utilise a sophisticated and unique ratings methodology that compares both cost and features across SMSF loan products, with a transparent analysis comparing different types of SMSF Loans. CANSTAR star ratings represent a shortlist of financial products, enabling consumers to narrow their search for SMSF products.

CANSTAR assesses SMSF loan products using 5 different profiles:

  • 1-year fixed rate loans
  • 2-year fixed rate loans
  • 3-year fixed rate loans
  • 5-year fixed rate loans
  • Variable rate loans

Each loan reviewed for the CANSTAR SMSF Loans Star Ratings is awarded points for its comparative pricing and for the array of positive features attached to the product. Compare SMSF loans for yourself using CANSTAR’s star ratings:

Compare SMSF Loans

How CANSTAR compares SMSF savings accounts

SMSF savings accounts are compared as part of CANSTAR’s broader Savings and Transaction Account Star Ratings. These ratings involve a sophisticated rating methodology unique to CANSTAR, which compares deposit accounts available to SMSFs in Australia. CANSTAR star ratings help consumers to create a shortlist of SMSF products to narrow their search.

When rating SMSF savings accounts, CANSTAR rates accounts which are designed to give high interest returns on the cash component of a self-managed super fund. To be eligible for a star rating, SMSF savings accounts must:

  • Have been on offer for 6 months or more
  • Offer an interest of 1% or higher on a balance of $100,000
  • Be available for self-managed super funds

SMSF savings account ratings consist of a pricing score and a features score. Compare SMSF savings accounts for yourself using CANSTAR’s star ratings:

Compare SMSF Savings Accounts

SMSF Glossary of Terms

Please note that these are a general explanation of the meaning of terms used in relation to SMSF products and related investment activities.

Wording may differ from provider to provider, and you should read the terms and conditions of the relevant product disclosure statement (PDS) to understand the inclusions and costs of that product. You cannot rely on these terms to the part of any SMSF product you may purchase.

Refer to the product disclosure statement (PDS) and Canstar’s Financial Services and Credit Guide (FSCG).

Account-based pension / Account-based income stream: A pension paid (generally on retirement) from superannuation benefits standing to the credit of your account. For most people aged 60 and over, these pension payments have been tax-free since July 2007. Previously, they were known as allocated pensions. Compare account-based pension on the Canstar website.

Beneficiary: A person who will receive benefits from the SMSF paid to them upon their retirement, and who has contributions made on their behalf.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT): The tax payable on the gain in value of an asset, which is payable at the time you choose to sell it. SMSFs that sell assets must pay the standard CGT of 15%, with a discount to 10% if the asset has been held for 12 months or more. Learn more about capital gains tax (CGT).

Concessional contributions: Superannuation contributions made from before-tax income for which a tax deduction can be claimed. They are also referred to as deductible contributions. Concessional contributions include employer Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions, additional employer contributions (salary sacrifice), and contributions made by the self-employed.

Contribution cap: This is the limit on the amount of contributions that can be made for an individual. Contributions in excess of the cap will be subject to excess contributions tax. Concessional and non-concessional contributions have different cap amounts.

Dividend: The amount a company pays out to its shareholders from its after-tax earnings. For individual shareholders, the payout is in proportion to the number of shares held. When company profits are down, the company may decide to pay a reduced dividend, or no dividend at all.

Diversification: The concept of investing the SMSF money into multiple different asset classes so as to minimise risk – to prevent “putting all your eggs in one basket”. Should one asset (e.g. property) suffer a downturn, other asset classes (e.g. stocks, bonds) may be less affected or unaffected, which helps to buffer the SMSF against some level of investment risk.

Excess concessional contributions tax: A tax on your super contributions over the concessional contributions cap.

Minimum drawdown rate: Also known simply as the minimum withdrawal rate, this is the minimum amount of money you must withdraw from your SMSF each year. The amount is calculated based on your age and remaining account-based pension balance. Learn more about the SMSF rules here.

Non-concessional contributions: These are contributions made from a person’s after-tax income. The terms ‘non-concessional contributions’, ‘post-tax contributions; and after-tax- contribution’ are often used interchangeably.

Preservation age: The minimum age at which members can access their superannuation benefits, provided you have permanently retired from the workforce. This age is 55 years old for those born before 1 July 1960, and increases up to 60 years old for people born after 30 June 1964 (ATO).

Salary sacrifice: An agreed arrangement between an employer and an employee whereby the employee agrees to sacrifice part of their gross salary in exchange for a benefit, such as extra employer contributions to superannuation. An annual contribution limit applies.

Superannuation Guarantee (SG): Employer contributions are usually called Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions. Currently the minimum level of SG contributions is the equivalent of 9% of ordinary time earnings. This money is not taken out of your wage or salary; it is paid in addition to your wage or salary. An annual contribution limit applies. Learn about the Superannuation Guarantee here.

Transition to retirement (TTR): An income stream that you can use before you are 65 years old, in order to transition into retirement by working fewer hours and supplementing your salary with income from your super.

Trust Deed: The legal document which describes the establishment and operations of an SMSF, including trustees, membership rules, investment strategy, and contribution rules.

Trustee: A person who has been appointed under the Trust Deed to be responsible for managing the investments and legal compliance requirements of the SMSF. There can be multiple trustees of a super fund. A trustee may be a corporate trustee, whereby a company is appointed as a trustee of a fund; in such a case, all directors of the company must be members of the fund.

To view the Superannuation Glossary of Terms instead, click here.

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SMSF product providers we research and rate

SMSF Savings Accounts

The SMSF Savings Accounts that CANSTAR has assessed for its 2016 Savings Account Star Ratings are:

  • AMP
  • ANZ
  • Australian Military Bank
  • Auswide
  • Bank of Melbourne
  • Bank of Sydney
  • BankSA
  • BankVic
  • BankWest
  • BCU
  • Bendigo Bank
  • Beyond Bank
  • Bank of Queensland
  • Catalyst Money
  • Citi
  • Commonwealth Bank
  • Community First Credit Union
  • CUA
  • Defence Bank
  • Delphi Bank
  • EasyStreet
  • First Option
  • G&C Mutual Bank
  • Gateway
  • Heritage Bank
  • Holiday Coast
  • HSBC
  • Hume Bank
  • Hunter United
  • Illawarra Credit Union
  • imb Bank
  • ING DIRECT
  • Macquarie Bank
  • Macquarie Credit Union
  • Me Bank
  • Move
  • MyState
  • NAB
  • NABTrade
  • Newcastle Permanent
  • QBank
  • Qudos Bank
  • Queenslanders Credit Union
  • Rabobank
  • RaboDirect
  • Regional Australia Bank
  • Rural Bank
  • SCU
  • Select Encompass
  • George Bank
  • Suncorp Superannuation
  • Teachers Mutual Bank
  • The Capricornian
  • The Mutual (Maitland Mutual Building Society)
  • The Rock
  • Transport Mutual Credit Union
  • UniBank
  • Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank
  • Westpac
  • WECU

SMSF Loans

The SMSF Loans that CANSTAR has assessed for its 2016 SMSF Loans Star Ratings are:

  • Bank of Melbourne
  • BankSA
  • BCU
  • Commonwealth Bank
  • com.au
  • Hume Bank
  • imb Bank
  • Mortgage House
  • George Bank
  • Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank
  • Westpac
  • YellowBrickRoad

Compare SMSF solutions using the selector tool at the top of this page.

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