One common question in regards to the set up of an SMSF is “How much super do you need to set up an SMSF?”. The answer is simple: It depends! Importantly, there is no SMSF minimum balance required by the ATO. Where the ATO has information showing the total super balances of the SMSF members is under $50,000, the likelihood of the ATO auditing the SMSF application increases significantly. Based on outdated information from ASIC, some industry and retail super funds will say that you need at least $500,000 for an SMSF. This is incorrect and not supported by independent research. SMSF research by the University of Adelaide released in February 2022 found “the performance of a typical SMSF improves as the balance of the fund approaches $200,000. Once this threshold is reached, the performance of the fund is comparable with SMSFs with much larger balances.” One approach when looking at how much money you need to set up an SMSF is to compare fees. On average, large APRA-regulated superannuation funds will charge 1.10% of your balance. This is based on information collated by Canstar as of 14/04/2020. Using this approach, if your SMSF is paying $1,375 per year in SMSF fees, then a super balance approaching $155,000 will make the costs similar. Remember, an SMSF can have up to 6 members, and you only pay one lot of fees per SMSF – so sharing costs with your partner is an excellent SMSF advantage. SMSFs provide access to investments that no other super product can, such as direct property, cryptocurrency and unlisted private investments. Therefore the most significant cost of an SMSF is the cost of NOT HAVING AN SMSF and missing out on the greatest investment opportunities. Please note the above is general information only and should not be relied upon as personal financial advice.