Video transcript – Setting up your SMSF

A self-managed super fund is a special type of trust set up and maintained for the sole purpose of providing retirement benefits to its members.

Let’s have a look at the key steps in setting up your SMSF:

You can have up to four members in an SMSF, comprised of either individual trustees or a company serving as a corporate trustee.

The trust deed is a legal document that covers how to establish and operate your SMSF. You should refer to it when making decisions about your fund.

Trustees must sign and date the trust deed, and make sure it is executed properly under the law.

To establish a trust, the fund must have assets, even if it’s just a small amount of cash until the members roll over existing benefits or make a contribution.

The trustee declaration is a statement that you understand your duties and responsibilities. You must sign the declaration within 21 days of becoming a trustee or director of the corporate trustee, and a signed copy must be kept.

Your SMSF needs to register through the Australian Business Register. To save on tax, you must elect to be regulated by the ATO.

Once registered, your SMSF will be listed on Super Fund Lookup, so that other funds and employers can check your fund’s eligibility to receive rollovers or contributions.

You may also need to sign up with an SMSF messaging provider before your fund can receive employer contributions.

You will be asked for each member’s TFN. If a member doesn’t supply their TFN, you cannot accept personal contributions from them and the fund will have to pay more tax on their employer contributions.

These are just some of the steps to get your fund set up.

Depending on your circumstances, there may be more things you need to consider.

An SMSF professional will be able to help you set your fund up correctly.

For more SMSF information, take a look at our other videos – or visit the ATO website at

    Last modified: 12 Nov 2015QC 39855