Ask Paul: I'm tired of managing my SMSF, what should I do?


Published on

Hi Paul, what should I do with my self-managed super fund?

After many years running the fund I now wish to take a less active interest and enjoy my retirement rather than dealing with the fund.

Should I:
a. Drop my funds into a managed fund with low fees, set the allocation split and forget?  
b. Move into a low-cost indexed fund?
c. Rollover into a large low-cost super fund and shut down my personal fund?

ask paul i need to close my smsf where to move the money

Or are there other options available to me? - Craig

Exactly what I have been pondering, Craig! Like you, I've had an SMSF for a long time.

The name means a lot to me. It is "self-managed", so I need to be willing and able to do this. Of course, it requires time and effort.

The reality is that very few of us outperform markets. I certainly don't. But where the SMSF has been good is that I can tweak my funds towards higher-risk assets. This has worked well, but at age 66 my time frame and risk profile are changing. Equally, I won't have good mental capacity forever, so the time to simplify is while I can!

An SMSF is a complex beast and you can't do anything without expert advice. I certainly won't be doing anything without specialist SMSF advice.

The three options you outline are all fine; there is not much else sensible that is available to you. But your choice will depend a lot on your conversation with a specialist.

You certainly could simplify your investments inside your fund, but an SMSF is expensive to run and the fact is you remain responsible for the admin, such as tax lodgements.

I can't make this call for you, but depending on my own meetings with my SMSF specialist, I can tell you my preference would be to shut it down and move to a large, very low-cost manager with a global growth fund.

Get stories like this in our newsletters.

Related Stories

Paul Clitheroe AM is founder and editorial adviser of Money magazine. He is one of Australia's leading financial voices, responsible for bringing financial insight to Australians through personal finance books, the Money TV show, and this publication, which he established in 1999. Paul is the chair of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board and is chairman of InvestSMART Financial Services. He is the chair of Financial Literacy at Macquarie University where he is also a Professor with the School of Business and Economics. Ask Paul your money question. Unfortunately Paul cannot respond to questions posted in the comments section. View our disclaimer.
Arthur Trigger
September 15, 2021 4.51pm

Best advice ever Paul.

I had a SMSF from the beginning but when I retired 15 years ago I rolled over to an Industry High Growth Allocated Pension and have been drawing down the minimum each year.

Now in my 80's I still have more in the fund then when I started and a return of 23.6% this year certainly helped.

Sally Bembrick
September 15, 2021 6.03pm

Hi Arthur,

That is my goal exactly ..... to maintain or preferably increase my capital base while drawing the minimum pension.

I have some funds in Aware Super and I also manage my own SMSF. I am considering moving my SMSF to an Industry Super Fund.

Could you please share with me the Super Fund that you use and are happy with?

At this stage I am considering Uni Super or Australian Super, but would really appreciate your thoughts.