Julie Dolan’s answering YOUR questions: Self-Managed Super Funds

The modern world seems to be overwhelmed with the possibilities Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) have to offer. Australians have been expressing a tremendous interest in SMSFs for the last couple of months. Despite the growing interest, there are still hesitant individuals asking us for advice to throw some light on the mysterious SMSFs. We’ve been listening to our clients, partners and suppliers for a while now which led us to realising that many of you are desperately looking for answers.

Julie Dolan kindly agreed to sit down with ATB Chartered Accountants and share her knowledge.

Julie has over 20 years of experience in the Accounting and Financial Services Industry. Over this period she has held roles in accounting, investment advisory, practice management, strategic/technical support and advisory to accountants, lawyers and financial planners nationally and developing complex strategies for high net worth clients. This is one of the reasons we believe Julie’s experience and knowledge is priceless and worth spreading.

Her expertise and passion has always been in Self-Managed Superannuation Funds. Julie is incredibly good at solving many strategic and taxation issues which many of our clients as well as hers come across.

It’s time to try and cover them all in one interactive session.We sat down together with Julie to find out her view on couple of questions you asked.


Anna @ ATB Chartered Accountants: What are the SMSF basics everyone needs to understand?

Julie: Superannuation is quickly becoming the second if not biggest personal asset. This is due to the SGC system and hence the continual flow of monies into super. It is critical that people plan early for their retirement and nurture this critical asset.

The increase in life expectancy due to improvements in health and medicine, the shift in the size of the aging population and the decrease in government funding for retirement benefits makes planning for self-sufficiency in retirement critical.

Anna @ ATB Chartered Accountants: Why do think you many Australians are still not entirely confident about SMSF?

JULIE: This confidence is rising; however is still there due to the belief that you need a certain level of assets to start an SMSF and the belief that it is too complex to administer.

Whether an SMSF is right for you is based on your own personal circumstances and goals and objectives. It is not a one size fits all solution.

Anna @ ATB Chartered Accountants: Regardless, SMSF are one of the most preferred superannuation solutions for many people. What are the key 5 reasons for it?

JULIE: Control, transparency, flexibility, greater investment options and estate planning.

Anna @ ATB Chartered Accountants: Please name the top three superannuation strategies you would first look into?

JULIE: Ability of an SMSF to borrow so as to acquire ‘allowable assets’ and benefit from leveraging and tax efficiency. Transfer of existing business premises into a SMSF and the flexibility and customisation of estate planning so as to make sure your superannuation is being distributed according to your wishes.

In 1994, there were about 80,000 SMSFs in Australia, with about $11 billion in assets. ATO data shows that in September 2012, there were 478,000 SMSFs, with 913,550 members and a total of $439 billion in assets. There were registered well over half a million of SMSFs in 2013 and it continues growing.

It is no surprise to these half a million of SMSF’s owners that self-managed super fund enables flexibility and freedom; however it’s been a road of uncertainty for others. Well, this is exactly what we are here for! We are worried about the rest of the population of Australia lacking the key information to the financial freedom. Therefore our priority to make your SMSFs’ journey clear and easy.

This article is provided as general information only and does not consider your specific situation, objectives or needs. It does not represent accounting advice upon which any person may act. Implementation and suitability requires a detailed analysis of your specific circumstances.