To learn more about running a self-managed super fund (SMSF) it is a great idea to visit the free online SMSF Trustee education tool – the “Self Managed Superannuation Fund Trustee Education Program”. The program, which was developed jointly by Australian accounting bodies (including the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia), can be downloaded from www.smsftrustee.com
Although SMSF trustee education is not mandated by the government, it is advisable for new Trustees to improve their financial knowledge before establishing an SMSF. Trustees who have recently joined an existing SMSF will also benefit from the program.
The online SMSF Trustee Education Program takes between one and two hours to complete. Over seven modules, trustees will learn key rules about investments, contributions, benefit payments and administration. Topics covered in the program are as follows:
- Your responsibilities
- Your decisions
- Investment restrictions
- Accepting contributions
- Paying benefits
- Your administration
After each topic, there is a two or three-question ‘knowledge check’. The test which comes after you’ve completed all the topics, consists of 20 multiple-choice questions. If you get 14 or more correct, you’re entitled to print a certificate to show that you’ve completed the program successfully.
Objective of the SMSF Trustee Education Program
The aim of the program is to educate SMSF members in their responsibilities as Trustees. The program has been designed around the SMSF Trustee Declaration, which all new Trustees have to sign. After completing the program, trustees should be able to sign the SMSF Trustee Declaration form, confident that they have the competencies expected of them as Trustees.
After completing the program, SMSF trustees will be able to understand:
- their roles and responsibilities as SMSF trustee
- the investment restrictions imposed on an SMSF trustee
- contribution rules
- benefit payment rules
- SMSF administration.
The knowledge gained from this program, combined with the information on the Superannuation Warehouse website, will enable Trustees to manage their Fund within the requirements of the ATO.