SMSFs and retirement planning
An SMSF is a popular way to save for retirement
The value of your savings underpins the quality of your retirement, so asserting control over superannuation investments and aligning those investments with your retirement goals is a prudent approach. For this reason, a self managed super fund (SMSF) can be an attractive choice for retirement planning for some investors, as it offers a certain level of control, transparency and flexibility.
Match your investments to your retirement goals
While an SMSF operates within the same rules as other super accounts, the investment options available to SMSF trustees are extensive, and may help you to better match your investments to your retirement goals. An SMSF’s flexible structure allows you to tailor your investments and tax to suit your lifestyle and goals – whatever they may be.
Tax strategies for retirement savings
There are a number of tax strategies that can be used to help maximise your savings in the lead-up to retirement – all capable of being implemented within an SMSF structure. These include:
- managing accumulation and multiple pension accounts
- salary sacrifice
- withdraw and re-contribution
- transition-to-retirement pension
- spouse splitting
- contribution reserves.
The tax and super strategies you can implement will vary according to your age, assets, income and personal retirement goals. For example, if you buy an asset and sell it while working (accumulation phase) you pay capital gains tax; however, selling the same asset in retirement (pension phase) makes it exempt from tax.
Create a superannuation fund that works for you
In some large superannuation funds, trustees may be unable to take into account the personal circumstances of every one of their members, meaning they can’t always buy and sell assets at a time that suits everyone. Other funds provide greater investment flexibility, but may cause investors to incur capital gains when moving from the accumulation phase to retirement, while unitised funds indirectly deduct an allowance for capital gains tax on a daily basis within their unit prices.
With an SMSF, you’re in control and can time your buy and sell decisions to suit your personal retirement plans. However, it is also important to understand the responsibilities associated with running an SMSF so that you can meet all your compliance obligations and avoid tax penalties.