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How to wind up a self managed super fund (SMSF)

Superannuation  |  7/11/2018  |   8 min read

Closing a self-managed super fund (SMSF) can be a long and difficult process. But Equip can help. We’ve partnered with Think Super to provide a streamlined service that will wind up your SMSF and transition you into one of our superannuation products.

How Think Super can help

• Reading and interpreting the SMSF trust deed to ensure the winding up is done properly.

• Redeeming the Fund assets (e.g. the sale of shares or managed funds).

• Paying all remaining liabilities.

• Facilitating the preparation of the SMSF’s annual return and wind up accounts.

• Arranging the final independent audit of the accounts. If an actuarial certificate is required this will also be sourced at this time.

• Lodging the final SMSF annual return and paying the final tax and expenses.

• Arranging for the rollover of monies to your Equip superannuation account.

• Closing the SMSF bank account.

• Cancelling the ABN.

• Notifying the ATO that the SMSF is wound up and completing all reporting obligations.

• Notifying all other authorities of fund closure and winding up of the corporate trustee including ASIC.

Your questions answered 

To help explain the SMSF wind-up process, we asked Kosta Samaras, Director of Think Super, to answer the mostly commonly asked questions.

1. What are the most common reasons people wind up their SMSFs?

“Usually it’s because their circumstances have changed from when they decided to start the SMSF. Typically a self-managed superannuation fund is exactly what the name suggests, ‘self-managed’.  Whilst you can engage with various service providers to do a lot of the work for you (i.e. accounting & administration, tax lodgement, audit, advice about investments, etc) an SMSF trustee must be prepared to spend some time ensuring their fund is operating properly. The laws and regulations governing SMSFs are complex. If they do not have the time to devote to this, or do not wish to take on the responsibility that being a trustee requires of them, they decide to wind up their SMSF.

It could be that some members have left the SMSF – perhaps passed away. It could be that one or more of the trustees/members has gone overseas permanently – or wants to move overseas.

Another reason could be that the balance of funds in the SMSF is not large enough to cover the costs of running it. There is no hard and fast rule about this, but ASIC has suggested that you should have a member balance of at least $200,000 to ensure an SMSF is financially viable”

2. How difficult or time consuming is it to switch back to an APRA regulated superannuation fund, and how can Think Super assist people?

“Closing an SMSF and switching back to an APRA regulated fund is not difficult to achieve but it can be a time consuming process. Assets held in the SMSF need to be sold down to cash and depending on the assets held (e.g. property) this redemption process can take time. The SMSF is also required to undertake a wind up process which involves preparing a final set of accounts, audit and tax lodgement so again this can take time depending on the nature of the SMSF.

“This process is exactly what Think Super undertakes for the trustees to ensure that all regulatory matters are attended to. This generally culminates in the rollover of funds to an APRA regulated fund.”

Getting started

If you’re interested in closing your self-managed super fund, or you’d simply like to discuss your options, please request an appointment with one of our Equip Financial Planners.


An Equip financial planner can help you map out your superannuation options. Learn more by clicking here. 

Equipsuper Pty Ltd (“Equip”) (ABN 64 006 964 049, AFSL 246383) is the Trustee of the Equipsuper Superannuation Fund (“the Fund”) (ABN 33 813 823 017, MySuper Authorisation 33813823017672). This document provides general information only. It does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs, so should not be taken as personal advice. Before making a decision to invest in the Fund, you should read the appropriate Equip Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Past performance is not an indication of future performance. Equip is licensed to provide intrafund personal and general superannuation advice under its AFSL. Member Advisors are employees of Equip. For more information about the remuneration of Equip and its employees, please refer to the Equipsuper Financial Services Guide (FSG).

Equipsuper Financial Planning Pty Ltd (“EFP”) (ABN 84 124 491 078, AFSL 455010) is licensed to provide financial planning services to retail and wholesale clients. EFP is owned by Equipsuper Financial Holdings Pty Ltd (ABN 11 604 515 791). You can obtain the EFP Financial Services Guide and/or Privacy Statement by contacting our Helpline 1800 682 626.

Think Super is on EFP’s approved product list as a service provider qualified to assist with the winding up of an SMSF. Think Super is a subsidiary of Paradigm Financial Services Group (AFSL 297465) which is authorised to provide advice on SMSFs.

This document provides general information only. It does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs, so should not be taken as personal advice. 


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