Main region

What is a self-managed super fund?

A self-managed super fund (SMSF) is a way of saving for retirement that you manage yourself.

Unlike an industry super fund (such as Australian Retirement Trust), members of an SMSF are in charge of all parts of the fund. This includes investment and insurance decisions, as well as reporting, tax, and compliance.

If you're considering self-managed super, you need to be aware of the considerable time and money commitments involved in running an SMSF account.

Facts about managing SMSFs

  • 8+ hours

    The average time per month it takes to manage an SMSF (Moneysmart, 2023)

  • $8,200

    The median total cost to run an SMSF in 2019-2020 (ATO, 2023)

Should I rollover my super to an SMSF?

No one can decide for you, but here are some of the benefits and risks to think about before rolling over your super to an SMSF.

Pros of an SMSF

  • Complete control over where your super is invested

  • Access investments that you can't through a super fund, such as art, stamps, coins, and even physical gold

  • Use your SMSF super to buy an investment property (but keep in mind, you or your family can't live in it)

  • Match your investment strategy with your personal goals, such as investing in sustainable or ethical assets

  • Make quick investment decisions as the market changes

Cons of an SMSF

  • It'll cost you time, as you're in charge of your entire investment strategy

  • You must meet strict reporting and tax requirements (or risk heavy penalties)

  • You might not get the investment returns you need to retire comfortably, and it can cost a lot of money to run

  • You could lose insurance or benefits if you rollover your super from a super fund to an SMSF. Learn more.

  • Unlike industry or retail super funds, you aren't protected if you lose money due to theft or fraud

Winding up my SMSF

People wind up their SMSF for many different reasons. Whether you're getting closer to retirement or just don't want to manage the paperwork anymore, you might consider winding up your SMSF account.

To arrange a rollover from your self-managed super to a Super Savings account with us, follow these steps.

The rollover from your SMSF to Australian Retirement Trust or any other fund, needs to take place electronically using ATO SuperStream. We won't accept transferred funds from an SMSF via BPAY or cheque.

You don't need an Australian Retirement Trust BSB and account number to transfer to us. Here's some important details you may need for the rollover.

More about winding up an SMSF

Take control of your investment strategy

If you want more control of your investment strategy, you don't have to rollover to an SMSF account. We have a number of diversified and single asset class options available that you can mix and match to suit your needs, without worrying about the extra risks involved in running an SMSF.

laptop with secure lock icon

Diversified options

Choose to invest in one or more of the options we've designed and manage for you. They offer diversification by investing in a few different asset classes (like shares, infrastructure, and fixed income) at once.

person with coin icon

Single asset class options

Let us know exactly how much of your super you want to invest in each of our single asset classes options. These can be used on their own or combined with our diversified options, to create your own portfolio of assets.

Want to know more?

Learn more about our investment options and how they can best suit your retirement goals and how much risk you're comfortable with.

Our investment options
financial advice icon

Need more information?

If you're a member with us, you can speak to a financial adviser about what's right for your super – the cost is included in your membership.

Request a callback

Or call us on 13 11 84

Self-managed super fund FAQs

Here's some frequently asked questions about self-managed super.

An electronic service address (ESA) is what you need to provide your employer, so they can pay your superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions to your SMSF. It's important when starting a new job to tell your employer the ESA of your SMSF, and bank account information. For more information, refer to the ATO.

As Australian Retirement Trust is an industry super fund not an SMSF, we don't have an ESA.

​If you're a member with ART, you can check or customise your investment strategy at anytime in Member Online.

Log in now

While Moneysmart says that having control over your super can be appealing, they recommend only setting up your own SMSF super account if you're 100% committed and understand the risks involved. You should also consider getting some financial advice to see if it's the right option for you.

If you decide you'd like to set up a self-managed super fund, the ATO has a step-by-step process to help guide you.

To arrange a rollover of your Australian Retirement Trust to your self-managed super account follow these steps.

  1. Check your SMSF details held by the ATO, including the SMSF Australian Business Number (ABN) and the SMSF complying status. Make sure these are correct and up to date.
  2. Contact the administrator of your SMSF account to start a rollover request or you may be able to submit an electronic portability form (EPF) through myGov online services.
  3. In addition to receiving a request via ATO SuperStream, we need the following documents:
  1. Certified proof of identity documents. For full details about proof of identity requirements, download our Proof of identity requirements factsheet. These documents must be posted to us.
  2. Copy of a bank statement for the SMSF. The bank statement must've been issued within 12 months and have the following details:
    • The SMSF name as account holder
    • BSB and account number
    • Institution name and logo

We'll aim to complete the rollover within 3 business days of receiving all required information.

​There are a few ways you can find your superannuation number if you're a member with us. Learn more.

Make your life easier today

Find out why so many Australians choose us to grow their super. It only takes a few minutes to join online, so you can rest easy knowing we're working hard for you.