In Trustees We Trust

Roger Thomson Superannuation

Article by Roger Thomson

as featured in the Farm Weekly issue 18 March 2021

As time marches on and we all age ever so gracefully, there comes a time to consider who should control your Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF).

Many SMSF members control their funds as individual trustees. There are generally two reasons for this – initially easier to set up and cheaper.

These can be false economies though, leading to unexpected personal risks and need for trustee title changes every time members start or leave.

A corporate trustee is commonly used in farming and other businesses, and it is best practice for SMSF’s to be structured the same, either at commencement, or later in the fund’s life.


  • Ability to add & remove members easily.
    • Changing members requires change in the legal title of the fund’s assets each time. With a corporate trustee, directors can come and go but the assets remain in the company name.
  • Death of members.
    • Restructuring a fund shortly after a member’s death, to satisfy the super rules, can be very traumatic at a time when the surviving member and family have many other issues to deal with. A company as trustee eases this burden.
  • Loss of capacity.
    • The scourge of modern times sees more and more people incapacitated through dementia and other conditions. An incapacitated member can continue in the fund with a spouse or family member acting on their behalf with an Enduring Power of Attorney.
  • Changes to the fund’s members due to divorce, separation, or admission of additional family members requires comparatively little paperwork and processing with relevant authorities.
  • Legal liability and asset protection.
    • Provides some protection against personal liability that individual trustees may be exposed to, risking their personal assets. For example, a negligence claim on the fund’s property, or a bankruptcy proceeding.
  • Reduced SIS penalties.
    • One single penalty per contravention compared to each individual trustee being penalised, avoids multiple penalties for the same breach.

The question is... Do you operate your SMSF with a corporate or individual trustee? If an individual trustee, carefully consider the implications. If you want to speak to someone with sound technical knowledge and a pragmatic approach about this, we are only a phone call away.

Newsflash - Cap changes from 1/07/2021

Concessional cap


Non-concessional cap


Three year NCC cap


CGT cap


NCC cap reduced to nilfrom $1,700,000

Next Step

To discuss this article further, we encourage you to contact our SMSF Director, Roger Thomson on (08) 6274 6400, or your Byfields accountant.


Disclaimer: This content provides general information only, current at the time of production. Any advice in it has been prepared without taking into account your personal circumstances. You should seek professional advice before acting on any material.

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