Do I really need to update my Trust Deed?

The Trust Deed of a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund directs the operation of the Fund. If the Trustee of a SMSF is permitted under the Superannuation legislation to undertake particular actions, it is still not able to do so unless permitted by the Trust Deed.

If your SMSF deed was prepared before 2008 you will absolutely need to update it as much of the newer legislation is not reflective in the deed including the Simple Super reforms. You run the risk that the Trustee may inadvertently act on out-dated powers contained in an old Trust Deed.

If your deed was prepared post 2008 you should have your deed reviewed by your advisor in order to ascertain if the Trustee can undertake a myriad of new actions. Some key benefits of updating your Trust Deed are the inclusion of;

  1. The ability to initiate Automatic Reversionary Pensions
  2. The ability for the Fund to accept certain overseas pension transfers
  3. Can appoint an additional layer of oversight to ensure the correct disbursement of their benefits, in the form of a ‘Death Benefits Guardian’

Outdated Deeds may exclude some simple things like;

  1. Adding people (e.g. Spouses and Children) as Members when not permitted under the Trust Deed
  2. Commencing Transition to Retirement Income Streams when the Trust Deed stipulates the earliest Benefit payment date at age 65
  3. Accepting Contributions from Members of an amount or type not permitted under the Trust Deed

In order for your Super to provide flexibility, good tax outcomes and security during changing circumstances an up to date Trust Deed is essential.

If you would like to learn more information about updating your Trust Deed, contact us on (08) 8172 9171 or