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 as it offers 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 employed to maximise your savings in the lead-up to retirement – all seamlessly implemented within an SMSF structure. These include: 

  • managing multiple accumulation and pension accounts simultaneously
  • 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 super fund that works for you

In some large super funds, trustees are unable to take into account the personal circumstances 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 can force 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 complete control and can time buy and sell decisions to suit your personal retirement plans. However, it is important to understand the responsibilities associated with running an SMSF and to maintain a compliant fund in order to avoid tax penalties. 

Discover if self managed super is right for you

Find out how we can help you achieve your retirement goals by talking to one of our SMSF directors.