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Set up a bank account

How to set up a bank account for your self-managed super fund to accept contributions and pay expenses and liabilities.

Last updated 26 June 2022

Why your SMSF needs a bank account

You need to open a bank account in your self-managed super fund's (SMSF) name to:

  • manage the fund’s operations
  • accept contributions
  • accept rollovers of super
  • accept income from investments.

This account is also used to pay the fund’s expenses and liabilities.

SMSF bank account requirements

As a trustee, you need to make sure the bank account is:

  • unique to the SMSF
  • recorded correctly with us.

If your SMSF does not have a unique bank account, then your member's retirement benefits may not be protected.

A unique bank account is one not used by any other entity or individual. For example, your tax agent's account for receiving tax refunds is not unique.

Banks usually provide your fund with a bank account after you register it and get an Australian business number (ABN). To enable rollovers into the fund, you will need to notify us of your fund's unique bank account.

The fund’s bank account must be kept separate from the trustees’ individual bank accounts and any related employers’ bank accounts.

You don't have to open a separate bank account for each member, but you must keep a separate record of their entitlement or 'member account'. Each member account shows:

  • contributions made by or on behalf of the member
  • fund investment earnings allocated to them
  • payments of any super benefits (lump sums or income streams).

Notify us of your fund's bank account or any changes

You can notify us of your fund's bank account details or update it at any time:

  • through a registered agent
  • through Online services for business
  • by calling us on 13 10 20
  • by lodging a SMSF Annual Return (SAR).

When a change is made to the SMSF's bank account details held with us, we send you an email or text message alert (or both). If you and other trustees receive an alert and are not aware of the change, contact us immediately on 13 10 20.

If you suspect fraud

As a trustee, you also need to check that only people you have authorised are listed as third-party authorities and signatories on your SMSF’s bank account.

Giving a third-party authority to your SMSF bank account increases your exposure to fraud such as unauthorised withdrawals from your fund account.

Report suspicious activity to your bank immediately, including if you:

  • suspect a third-party has been added as a signatory to your accounts without your authority
  • notice suspicious account transactions made by a third party without your consent.

For your fund to accept a rollover, once you set up the bank account the next step is to get an electronic service address.