Want to Wind Up your SMSF? Read this first

The decision to wind up your SMSF is one that should be made after careful consideration of your whole financial situation and implications of starting the process.

There are many reasons you may wish to wind up your SMSF, including:

  • The time and administrative burden has become too much
  • The balance of the fund means the cost economics do not stack up anymore
  • Life events such as relationship breakdown or death
  • Trustees wish to move overseas

Prior to starting the process to wind up, you should first consider:

  • Are there any Centrelink implications of wind up? For example, you may have a more favourable income test applied to any pensions within the fund, and winding up may mean a loss or reduction in Centrelink entitlements
  • Are there any capital gains tax implications of selling assets within the fund to facilitate wind up? Do your reasons for wind up outweigh this tax?
  • Your fund trust deed. Your deed may contain specific wind up instructions or guides in how to wind up the fund.
  • Where are the fund proceeds to be be paid? Are they to be as a lump sum to the member (if eligible) or as a rollover to another fund?

Once you have considered the above, the actual process of winding up the fund can be quite lengthy and should be started well before the end of the financial year.

Whether the benefits are to be paid via a lump sum to the member, or a rollover to another fund, it is likely that the assets of the SMSF will need to be sold. Depending on the nature of the asset, this could take some time. (Note there are some retail funds that can accept asset transfers for shares and funds rather than liquidating).

In the instance of rolling to another super fund, you will need to establish an account with your new fund, as the details of this as well as your member number will be needed by your fund administrator to complete a document called the rollover benefits statement (RBS). While doing this establishment of the new fund, it is also beneficial to request details on how the rollover can be physically paid (eg some require cheques only, some can accept BPay etc)

You will then need to request your fund administrator complete the interim accounts (and the rollover benefits statement if required). Remind them to take into account any final fees or tax payable/refundable prior to producing the rollover benefit statement.

Once the benefit has been paid to the member, arrange for the final tax return and audit. Once this has been completed and all receipts and liabilities have been covered, you can close the SMSF bank account. The SMSF must have a $0 balance when it is officially wound up.

If the SMSF has a trustee company, this will likely need to be wound up too if it has no other purpose.

In summary there are many legitimate reasons to winding up your SMSF, however it is not a decision to make lightly and give yourself plenty of time to complete the process in full.

If you want to discuss your personal circumstances then please reach out to us at connect@pekada.com.au


Post contributor:


Rhiannon Kanoniuk | Principal Adviser


Wealth Collective trading as Pekada (ABN 95 624 612 684), corporate authorised representative (CAR), number 1263725, is authorised to provide financial services on behalf of Communitas Wealth Pty Ltd.

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