SMSF (Self-Managed Super Fund)

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How to add an SMSF

Items which should be entered under an SMSF:

  • The following information should be added under an SMSF:
    • SMSF details (name, administration/set-up/audit fees)
    • SMSF Member details (accumulation phase and pension phase balances) - up to two members can be included.
    • SMSF assets and liabilities

To add an existing SMSF:

  1. Go to the Super & Trusts sub-step (under Current situation step on the top menu), then click the Add SMSF button (on the left menu)
  2. On the main SMSF form, fill in:
    1. the SMSF details: Name, administration fees
    2. SMSF Member details, including each member's accumulation and pension phase balances
  3. To add existing investments, stay in the Super & Trusts step, and click the Add investment to SMSF button (on the left menu)
  4. To add new assets to an existing SMSF:
    1. Go to the Review super funds sub-step (under the Cash flows & Goals step on the top menu)
    2. Find your SMSF in the Existing SMSF section, and click the Add new investment to SMSF button

To add a new SMSF:

  1. Go to the Review super funds sub-step (under the Cash flows & Goals step on the top menu), scroll to the end to the page and click the +Start a new SMSF button
  2. On the main SMSF form, fill in:

    1. the SMSF details: Name, administration fees

    2. SMSF Member details

  3. To add proposed investments to the SMSF, use the Add new investment to SMSF button (under the new SMSF details).

Modelling options for SMSFs

Improving solve times

Due to the complexity of SMSF modelling, you may need to wait longer for the results to be ready.

While you are solving, you can see how hard the solver is working by checking the Solve events . The more iterations Pathfinder needs to do, the longer it will take to solve. You can see how many iterations it is taking to solve, and the time for each iteration, by watching the 'Solve events'. You can also check Tips for reducing solve times.

 Screenshot of 'Solve events'. Click here to expand...



Start an SMSF
  • When you add a new SMSF, you can choose the year to start the SMSF, and also enter the Establishment fee.
  • If there are existing super funds that you want to rollover into the SMSF, then:
    • Go to the Review super funds sub-step (under the Cash flows & Goals step on the top menu)
    • Find the super fund you want to roll funds out of
    • With the Super options field, choose an option to either close the fund or choose a minimum balance.  When funds are rolled out, it will roll funds into the SMSF, provided it is open in that year.
Close an SMSF

You can set a year to close the SMSF if that is part of the strategy you want to model or if the SMSF balance is too low. In particular, if you check your results and see that the SMSF's balance is very low and only being kept open to pay fees and expenses within the SMSF, then it is best to set a specific close date for the SMSF to stop these fees being paid.

To close the SMSF:

  • Go to to the Review super funds sub-step (under the Cash flows & Goals step on the top menu), and then find the SMSF.
  • On the SMSF options field, choose the 'Close SMSF' option
  • Then, set a year in the 'Close SMSF in year' field
  • When you close the SMSF also keep in mind:
    • You still need to set instructions for the assets in the SMSF prior to the SMSF being closed at the Review super funds sub-step (under the Cash flows & Goals step on the top menu)
    • Any instructions for assets in the SMSF that were set to be applied after the closure of the SMSF will be ignored
    • Any expense paid from the SMSF (e.g. insurance, planning fees), will no longer be paid once the SMSF is closed
SMSF fees and expenses

The following fees can be entered on the main SMSF form:

  • Establishment fee (for new SMSFs only)
  • Annual administration fee
  • Annual audit fee

If any other fees are being paid from the SMSF (e.g. financial adviser fees):

  1. Go to the Cash flows & Goals step, then the Cash flows sub-step
  2. Find the Expense section
  3. Add the expense:
    1. In the Ownership field, make sure you put the SMSF

For more information, see the Expense in the help documentation.

Please note that if you enter expenses as cash flows, then you should keep an eye on whether the SMSF balance is low or goes to zero in your results.  If this happens, then you should set an exact year to close the SMSF (at the Review super funds sub-step (under the Cash flows & Goals step on the top menu)) and re-solve the case.  Otherwise, Pathfinder will continue to deposit funds into the SMSF just to meet the expense.

General tips for setting options for assets inside super
  • The modelling assumes that assets are not segregated i.e. the proportional method is used for allocating assets
  • If you only have one investment in the SMSF (e.g. a managed fund), then just choose the   option.
  • If you want to start a pension or make other withdrawals from the SMSF, make sure that you don't choose options for the assets that prevent withdrawals (unless the income from the assets will cover their income requirements). For example, if you choose 'Leave alone' or setting a minimum balance, this will prevent Pathfinder from accessing these funds for withdrawals/pensions from the SMSF (i.e. TRIS, account-based pension or lump sum withdrawal). If you don't want this, you can either change to a more flexible option (e.g. , Control by %) or change the option to a minimum balance, and then reduce the minimum balance in the year you would like to allow withdrawals (for more see How to increase or decrease a value in the series builder).
SMSF assets
Keep assets in a ratio

'Shares/managed funds' and 'Cash' held in super have a Control by % field option, that allows you to fill in a % of total unallocated funds field. When you fill in this field, Pathfinder will keep the investment in the set ratio relative to all other assets that also have the % of total unallocated funds field filled in.

For example, if you set instructions as follows:

  • International shares: % of total unallocated funds = 60%
  • Australian shares: % of total unallocated funds = 40%
  • Existing balanced fund: Leave alone
  • Cash: Set minimum balance > Minimum balance = $20,000

Pathfinder will keep the International shares and Australian shares in a ratio of 60:40, regardless of what the balances are for the cash account and 'Existing balanced fund' because neither of these options have the 'Control by %' option chosen. Pathfinder will make deposits to and withdrawals from the International shares and Australian shares in order to keep the specified ratio.

Work out when to set up an SMSF once a minimum super balance has been reached

If you would like to set up an SMSF once a minimum super balance has been reached:

  1. Run the scenario with their existing retail/industry super funds (and no SMSF)
  2. In the results, check their total super balances
    1. Go to the Detailed reports step
    2. On the left menu, choose Consolidated
    3. In this report, there will be a line called Superannuation (this will show the total super balances, if the case has a couple)
    4. Make a note of the year their Superannuation reaches your desired balance
  3. Copy the scenario (for more see How to make another scenario for comparison)
  4. In the copy of the scenario, at the Review super funds sub-step (under the Cash flows & Goals step on the top menu), choose what to do with the existing super super funds, such as:
    1. Close their existing super funds in the year you want to start the SMSF; or
    2. Choose 'Keep a minimum balance' if the funds need to be kept open (e.g. to pay insurances or to receive their super guarantee)
  5. Still at the Review super funds, add the SMSF, and choose to start it in the appropriate year and then add the proposed SMSF assets
  6. Once you solve the second scenario, you can go to the Compare step, and compare the projected outcomes of starting the SMSF versus keeping their existing super funds.
Voluntary super contributions

For more information on making contributions to the SMSF see Retirement planning goal (super contributions and pensions)

Additional modelling options

Results for SMSFs

See Superannuation and SMSF Results and Tax results (Individual and super).

Related items

Strategy Development Service (SDS) options

If the case includes complex analysis that you are not able to do in Pathfinder yourself, it may need to be submitted to the Optimo Financial SDS. Complexities include, but are not limited to:

  • SMSFs with three or four members
  • SMSFs with loans for shares/managed funds
  • SMSF assets that have a negative growth (the websolve can only model assets with a positive return)
  • Reversionary pensions
  • Complex requests outside the scope of the current interface