Members

An SMSF can have up to four individual members, each of whom must be a trustee of the fund. Alternatively, an SMSF can have a company as a corporate trustee, with each member of the SMSF being a director of the company and each director of the company being a member of the SMSF.

Most SMSFs are established with individuals as trustees – around 80% according to ATO statistics.

To protect all members of your fund, no member can be the employee of another member, unless they are related.

Can you have a single member SMSF?

Yes, but you have to have either:

  • a private company as a Trustee (also known as a Corporate Trustee), or
  • a second Trustee (a natural person) resident in Australia, with a TFN, who has no criminal convictions and is not a bankrupt.

We charge a fee of $950 to set up a Corporate Trustee. We explain the pros and cons of using a corporate Trustee here.

Legal personal representatives

A legal personal representative can be a trustee of an SMSF (or director of a corporate trustee) in place of a member who is under a legal disability (except for undischarged bankrupts). A representative may also be a trustee of an SMSF if they hold an enduring power of attorney in respect of the SMSF member. This can be done when a member is overseas.

Children in an SMSF

Children under the age of 18 can be Members of an SMSF but, as minors, they cannot be Trustees. A parent or guardian usually acts as trustee in place of an underage child. In certain cases, a legal personal representative may be appointed to the position.

Death of an SMSF member

A legal personal representative can be a trustee (or director of a corporate trustee) in place of a deceased SMSF member until the deceased member’s death benefits are paid from the SMSF.

  • Terence Khoh

    Hello SW,

    My SMSF ( not Corporate) has 2 trustees and one is leaving. Can I replace the trustee with a Non contributing person e.g my spouse ? Would it be a problem to her super funds if she is over 65 years old and retired? Would it be possible later for her to transfer her super to my SMSF? Can my SMSF be compliance with only 1 trustee? What forms should I submit to ASIC for this change? What are other problems (tax or compliance) that I must be aware of? Thanks.

    • https://www.smsfwarehouse.com.au Superannuation Warehouse

      Terence,

      If we administer your SMSF, we can execute a change of Trustee for your Fund.

      It is an ATO requirement to have a minimum of 2 Individual Trustees or a Corporate Trustee. Note the second Trustee does not need to be a Member. However, the second Trustee can be a Member if you so decide. A Trustee should have a Tax File Number and be over 18.

      More guidance on Trustee responsibilities and the use of single Member SMSF’s here:
      https://www.smsfwarehouse.com.au/smsf-members/members-must-be-trustees/

      The steps to add a new Trustee or Member can be found here:
      https://www.smsfwarehouse.com.au/smsf-members/add-a-new-member-to-the-smsf/

      When adding your spouse to the SMSF, its optional for her to contribute into the SMSF.

      • Terence Khoh

        Thanks for the reply.

        I have a question on non-concessional contribution. I am 63 yrs old this year and can I put in 100k to my SMSF as non-concessional contribution? Will this triggers off the next year (64yrs old) 100K and the last year (65yrs old) 300K non-concessional contribution? This gives me a 500K non-concessional contribution to my SMSF.
        I heard that this may change even I have triggered it off this year depending on the change of Government. Is this true? Thanks.

        • https://www.smsfwarehouse.com.au Superannuation Warehouse

          Terence,

          As you are still under 65, you can do the $100k per year non-concessional contributions.

          As long as you are under 65, you can utilise the bring-forward rule:
          https://www.smsfwarehouse.com.au/contributions/bring-forward-rule/

          As far as government consistency and policy goes – we can only hope.

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Superannuation Warehouse is an accounting firm and do not provide financial advice. All information provided has been prepared without taking into account any of the Trustees’ objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of that, Trustees are advised to consider their own circumstances before engaging our services.