- ASIC has noticed an increase in marketing recommending Australians switch from retail and industry superannuation funds to self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) so they can invest in a ‘high return’ portfolio
- SMSF trustees are being targeted to invest in crypto-assets (or cryptocurrencies)
- Superannuation is an attractive target for scammers
- Crypto-assets are a high risk and speculative investment
- ASIC is reminding superannuation fund members it is best practice to seek advice from a licensed financial adviser before agreeing to transfer superannuation out of a regulated fund into an SMSF
Consider the risks before setting up an SMSF
Setting up an SMSF is one of the most significant decisions you can make relating to your retirement savings. Before making the decision to set up an SMSF, seek advice from a licensed financial adviser. Do not rely on social media ads or online contact from someone promoting an ‘investment opportunity’. Be wary of people ‘cold calling’, text messaging, or emailing you with a recommendation to transfer your super to an SMSF, or invest in crypto-assets via your SMSF.
Investing into crypto-assets
Australians who decide to self-manage their super should consider the risks before using their SMSF to invest in crypto-assets.
As the trustee of your SMSF, you ultimately bear responsibility for the fund’s decisions and for complying with the law even if you rely on other people’s advice – licensed or otherwise. ASIC recently issued warnings about an increase in scams involving crypto-assets, and the Moneysmart website contains information on how to spot an investment scam, SMSFs and crypto-assets (or cryptocurrencies). The ATO website also contains information on superannuation scams.
If you decide to set up an SMSF, you should seek professional advice to determine what investments to make.
There are rules governing investments the SMSF can make and taxation consequences for investments, including cryptocurrencies. Any investment must be permitted under the fund’s trust deed and be in accordance with the fund’s investment strategy. When developing and reviewing your investment strategy you need to document how your fund’s investments will meet your retirement goals having regard to diversification, the risks of inadequate diversification, liquidity and the ability of the fund to discharge its liabilities. You must also be able to demonstrate that the fund owns the asset.
TIP: The ATO website contains information about these obligations. A licensed financial adviser can assist you with formulating an appropriate investment strategy.
Further support if you have been scammed
If you need someone to talk to, contact:
- Lifeline: 13 11 14 (24 hours) or crisis support online chat (7pm – 12am) or
- Beyond Blue: 1300 22 46 36 (24 hours) or web chat (1pm – 12am)
If you are experiencing problems with debt, talk to:
At Intuitive Super, our goal is to ensure that your self managed superannuation is working to achieve your goals. Read more here or call Intuitive Super on 1300 856 064 today.