When does an SMSF need/require an actuarial certificate?

There is often confusion around when an actuarial certificate is or isn’t needed for your SMSF. This article tries to clear up some of that confusion.

First we will start by covering an important question – what is an actuarial certificate?
This is a certificate used when you start drawing your pension, that determines what percentage of income from your SMSF will be exempt from tax and what will be taxed at the usual rate (15%).

There are many instances in which an actuarial certificate is needed by your SMSF and so it’s a little easier to cover the occurrences where one is not required. This can be determined by the following:

  • When all members of the SMSF are drawing a pension within that financial year
  • When the members of the SMSF are in segregation – i.e. when they each hold separate bank and investment accounts – this can happen in family SMSFs where the younger generation keeps money separately from the pensioner parents.
  • When your SMSF is running at a taxable loss.
  • When your SMSF is running purely in accumulation mode – no one is taking a pension within the financial year.
  • When a contribution is made to the SMSF but immediately used as pension and not as accumulated fund (i.e. it has not earned any interest in the SMSF).

In light of the above we can look at examples where they do NOT fall into these instances, meaning an actuarial certificate will be required.

For example, most SMSFs are run with pooled assets – meaning there is only a shared account. As such, the majority of the time there is a need for an actuarial certificate.

When pensions were started part way through a financial year, an actuarial certificate will be required. And if a segregated fund becomes un-segregated during the financial year, then an actuarial certificate will be required then too.

It could be said that an actuarial certificate requirement will be avoided by running segregated funds but this can create much more manual work and be drain on time and resources running your SMSF.

Finally, it should be noted that when your SMSF does require an actuarial certificate it must be prepared by a qualifying actuary.

Disclaimer: This information should not be considered personal financial advice as it is intended to provide general advice only. This factsheet has been prepared by Superhelp Australia Pty Ltd without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situations or needs. The information contained in the fact sheet may not be appropriate to your individual needs, therefore, you should seek personal financial advice before making any financial or investment decisions.

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Sandra - SMSF Advisor

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Why is SMSF Set up free at SuperHelp?

SuperHelp have been servicing the SMSF market for over 15 years. We pride ourselves in being able to provide an affordable SMSF service without compromising on quality. One of these services are to provide new members with setting up their SMSF for free when they use our award winning service.

Do I need to use a specific bank, broker or provider?

Unlike other SMSF administrators and accountants we do not restrict you to what bank, broker or service provider you use. We are independent and do not take any commissions from other parties so that our clients can invest their super where they please.

How long has SuperHelp been around for?

SuperHelp have been around since 2002 – so over 15 years! While new SMSF administrators have come and gone, we are still around!

I'm not sure if I want to start an SMSF, what should I do?

Starting an SMSF should not be taken lightly, we encourage you to book a free SMSF consultation with one of our expert staff to find out if SMSF is right for you. You can book a suitable time here or feel free to give us a call on 1300 756 453 during business hours.

How much is your ongoing annual administration fees?

Our first year introductory offer for new SMSF or transferred SMSF are $899 + GST regardless of asset types. Subsequent years are dependent on the number of assets and asset types you have – please use our calculator to estimate your fee. You will find that our fees are very reasonable to the quality provided within the SMSF market.

Do you have an SMSF newsletter that I can sign up to?

Yes! We send out a quarterly SMSF newsletter to all of our clients and anyone interested in SMSF. You can sign up here :

Do you offer any other SMSF services?

Yes we do! You can see a full list of SMSF services on our services page.

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