Duties of an SMSF Trustee | Roles and Responsibilities

Trustees (be it a trustee or director of a trustee company) of Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF) are the one's who are ultimately responsible for the running of the SMSF. Each trustee must understand their duties, roles, responsibilities and obligations of being a trustee. A trustee is required to act honestly, with prudence and in the best interests of the members.
Trustees need to operate the SMSF with the Sole Purpose of every decision they make, being in the best interest of the fund and it's ability to pay pension benefits in the future. The Sole Purpose of every SMSF is to provide for the retirement of members or a deceased members dependants or estate. Trustees making decisions with this not being the case and / or contravening other rules can see the fund and trustees penalised. 

Responsibilities of Trustees include:

  • SIS Act requirements (must comply)
  • Follow the rules in the SMSF trust deed (aka the book of rules)
  • Comply with the sole purpose test
  • Formulate, implement and monitor an Investment Strategy
  • Keep SMSF assets separate from personal assets
  • Accept contributions in accordance with the rules
  • Managed the fund's investments
  • Pay benefits in accordance with the rules
  • Meet lodgement and administrative obligations
  • Ensure appropriate records are kept
  • Appoint an approved auditor
  • Winding up a Self Managed Superannuation fund

As trustee, you can delegate certain responsibilities to a professional service provider, however the ultimate responsibility rests with you. You must also keep superannuation money and other assets sperate. The super fund needs to be run at arms length to any other person or entity. It cannot give a benefit to a related party or entity (apart from approved benefits, like paying a pension) nor can it receive a benefit (apart from an approved contribution or rollover) from a related party.

For more information on running a Self Managed Super Fund and your role and responsibilities as a trustee, click here.

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