Winding up a SMSF

Closing a self-managed super fund (SMSF) can be a complex and daunting process. Not only do you need to make decisions about the assets in the fund, but the paperwork and tax requirements can be intricate.

We can help you every step of the way

We’ve partnered with Findex Financial Advice Pty Ltd (Findex) to offer a SMSF wind-up service to our members that provides the expertise, guidance and knowledge required when closing a SMSF.

CareSuper is an award-winning super fund and is passionate about helping its members save for their retirement. As an industry super fund, CareSuper is run only to profit members. You can find out more about the benefits of being a member or join CareSuper online here.

Why we chose Findex

Findex recognises that SMSF administration and management can be time-consuming and complex. The Findex team are SMSF specialists – guiding clients through the obligations and responsibilities of a SMSF structure from start to finish. 

Findex are one of the largest SMSF accounting firms in Australia, servicing approximately 7,000 clients. Learn more about Findex.  

What does the service involve?

Your Findex specialist will work with you through the entire process, conforming to all the paperwork and tax requirements. You’ll receive guidance, checklists and help when carrying out the tasks to wind up your SMSF including:

  • Successfully lodging the final return to close your SMSF
  • Rolling out the funds from your SMSF into CareSuper
  • Cancelling your SMSFs ABN, TFN and bank account.

Pricing structure for CareSuper members

CareSuper and Findex have negotiated rates for CareSuper members: 

  • 2,000–$2,500 (plus GST) for basic SMSF wind-ups
  • $2,500–$3,000 (plus GST) for more complex funds

For an additional fee of $500 (plus GST), Findex can include a SMSF audit via an external auditor. Please note these are base fees and do not include any out-of-scope work or disbursements, which may vary depending on the wind-up process or complexity of the situation. All fees will be communicated with the SMSF Trustee prior to engaging with them. 

For a quote based on your circumstances, book a call-back from a Findex representative.

Let’s get started

If you’re interested in closing your SMSF, or you’d like to speak to someone about the process, request an obligation-free call-back from a Findex SMSF specialist, who will discuss the process with you in greater detail and outline the costs and next steps.

Frequently asked questions
Below are some Frequently Asked Questions in relation to winding up a self-managed super fund (SMSF). If you have additional questions request a call-back and a Findex SMSF specialist can explain the SMSF wind up process to you.
What does liquidating/selling down of the Fund’s assets mean?

All Fund assets are required to be redeemed for the Fund to be wound up. The Trustee is required to advise once all of the SMSF assets are sold and notify an advisor/provide Findex with copy of the most recent bank statement.

What is a Rollover form?

Trustees of Superannuation Funds are required to complete a ‘Rollover benefits statement’ when transferring their member balance from their SMSF to CareSuper. Findex will arrange for this form to be completed.

What are conditions of release?

Conditions of release are the events a member needs to satisfy to withdraw benefits from their super fund. Conditions of release are also subject to the rules of your SMSF (as set out in the Fund’s Trust Deed). The most common conditions of release for paying out benefits are:

  • Retirement: Actual retirement depends on a person’s age and, for those under 60 years old, their future employment intentions. A retired member can’t access their preserved benefits before they reach their preservation age.
  • Transition to retirement (attaining preservation age): Members who are under 65 and have reached preservation age, but remain gainfully employed on a full-time or part-time basis, may access their benefits as a non-commutable income stream.
  • Turning age 65: A member who reaches age 65 may cash their benefits at any time. There are no cashing restrictions. (It isn't compulsory to cash out a member’s benefits merely because they have reached a certain age.)

There are a number of other circumstances in which benefits can be released, such as incapacity, severe financial hardship, temporary residents leaving Australia, a terminal medical condition and terminating gainful employment. Some of these permit early access to benefits before reaching preservation age.

There are specific rules for each of these and some have restrictions on the way the benefits can be cashed. Please contact a financial planner for further details.

What is a Trust Deed?

A Trust Deed is a legal document that sets out the rules for establishing and operating your fund, including the fund’s objectives, who can be a member and how benefits are paid. The Trust Deed together with superannuation laws form the fund’s ‘governing rules’. A Trust Deed is a legal document, so you need to have it prepared by someone qualified to do so. All trustees need to understand, sign and date the Trust Deed and ensure it is properly executed according to state or territory laws.

What is a Pension?

A member of an SMSF can choose only from two types of pensions – an account-based pension or a transition to retirement pension. (Note however that if you retired prior to 20 September 2007, you may be receiving another type of pension from your SMSF.) The two types of SMSF pensions available are:

Account-based pension: An account-based pension gives you unlimited access to your account balance – it is up to the member on how much they wish to withdraw each year from their account balance. Note however, that there is a minimum amount that needs to be withdrawn each year, depending on your age which can vary from year to year.

Transition to retirement pension: A Transition to Retirement pension is available to those who have reached preservation age but have not retired from the workforce. It similar to a regular account-based pension, except that you cannot withdraw more than 10% of your account balance each year in pension payments. If you are between the ages of 55 and 60, you may also be required to pay tax on any withdrawals to the ATO.

What are contributions?

A contribution is a payment made to your super fund in the form of money or an asset other than money (called an in specie contribution). ‘In specie’ contributions can generally only be accepted by SMSFs. Provided the governing rules of your fund allow it, your SMSF can generally accept:

  • Employer contributions
  • Personal contributions
  • Salary sacrifice contributions
  • Super guarantee co-contributions
  • Eligible spouse contributions.

You need to properly document contributions and rollovers – including the amount, type and breakdown of components – and allocate them to the fund members’ accounts within 28 days of the end of the month in which you received them.