Self Managed Super Fund – why not make it a  family affair?

By Chris Heyworth,  BA(Hons), Dip FP, ACA
October 2020

An important rule change is expected to come into force in 2021.  This is a lifting of the current maximum of four members to six members of a self-managed superannuation fund.

Last year we posted an article about the potential benefits of having more than one generation as members in a family self-managed superannuation fund.  Many of the points in that article remain valid and are shown again here.

Most self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) have either one member or two from the same generation (e.g. husband and wife).  Increasing the number of active members and involving multiple generations could be a great strategy. Here are some pertinent points:

  • Bringing in younger generations would allow experienced older folk to share and pass on their knowledge of managing money – or perhaps it’s the younger ones transferring their knowledge upwards for everyone’s benefit.  Certainly having capable younger fund members around could help older ones cope as the years go by.
  • Pooling superannuation monies from an expanded number of members could result in some cost savings.  Well worth crunching the numbers to reveal the facts.
  • Pooling superannuation monies from a larger number of members could open up some additional investment opportunities.  Physical property and passive ownership of a private business are potential examples. Tailoring investment strategies to suit specific family circumstances and needs could be a terrific solution.
  • Investments in the Family SMSF could be owned proportionately by each member (e.g. Member 1 owns 35% of all investments, Member 2 owns 25%, Member 3 owns 15%, Member 4 owns 8%, Member 5 owns 12% and Member 6 owns 5%), or individual investments could be apportioned to specific members.  Perhaps older, retired Family SMSF members would prefer a more income-oriented portfolio while younger members are more attracted by growth opportunities (perhaps in some of the “tech” sectors).  Flexibility to suit all needs could be built into the design and operation of the Family SMSF.
  • Trustee decisions could be on a simple majority voting basis, or members with larger balances in the Family SMSF could protect their positions by giving each trustee votes in line with the value of their account (e.g. Member 1 has 35 votes, Member 2 has 25, Member 3 has 15, Member 4 has 8, Member 5 has 12 and Member 6 has 5).   This is an important part of the design and operation of the Family SMSF.
  • An existing SMSF’s trust deed may require no change or only some minor amendments to accommodate more members.  By the way, each member of a SMSF must be a trustee of the fund (either as an individual or as director of a corporate trustee).


A Family SMSF could be a great solution for you and your family.  Give us a call (03 9813 0133) to have a preliminary chat. You never know what opportunities and benefits might arise.

The author, Chris Heyworth, is a Director and shareholder of Moneta Super Pty Ltd.

Important Note: This article is in the nature of “General Advice” as it does not take into account any individual’s or entity’s personal circumstances or objectives.  It is for general information only.  Any advice as to suitability for you should be had from a properly qualified and licenced financial adviser.