Mercy Super - Super Account
- Last updated on 04 Aug 2020
Pay no transaction or switching fees and enjoy a range of different investment options
Established in 1962, Mercy Super is a corporate fund dedicated to looking after the retirement savings of current and former employees of Mater Health Services and other Sisters of Mercy organisations. The fund was nominated as a finalist for the 2020 Career Fund of the Year award.Mercy Super offers a range of 8 investment options to choose from, providing members with access to 5 Diversified and 3 Asset Class options. The MySuper Balanced option outperformed the SuperRatings Index over each time period assessed to 30 June 2019. Fees are lower than the industry average across all account balances assessed, with the asset-based administration fee capped at $600 pa. No fees are charged for switching investment options. A full suite of insurance cover is offered, with the Standard cover package, including Death, Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD) and Income Protection (IP) insurance cover, automatically provided to eligible members upon joining the fund. Members can choose between a salary-based or unit-based cover depending on whether their salary details have been provided by their employer. IP with a benefit period of 2 years, 5 years or to age 65, covering up to 85% of salary, is available following a 30, 60 or 90 day waiting period. Members are able to cancel or apply to vary their cover at any time.A range of online tools, calculators and educational resources are available through the fund's website. The fund's secure website further enables members to view account information, as well as update and make changes to their accounts online. Financial planning services are offered to members through Mercy Super Financial Services.
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Mercy Super - Super Account
Variety of options
Mercy Super - MySuper
Variety of options
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All SMSFs are required to have an investment strategy, which should explain what assets the fund will buy and what objectives it will pursue. This strategy must be reviewed regularly.
Issues to consider include how much risk the SMSF will take, how easily its assets can be converted into cash and how it will pay out benefits.
SMSFs are allowed to carry on a business under two conditions.
First, this must be permitted under the trust deed.
Second, the sole purpose of the business must be to earn retirement benefits.
An SMSF is a self-managed superannuation fund. SMSFs have to follow the same rules and restrictions as ordinary superannuation funds.
SMSFs allow Australians to directly invest their superannuation, rather than let ordinary funds manage their money for them.
SMSFs are regulated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). They can have up to four members. All members must be trustees (or directors if there is a corporate trustee).
Unlike with ordinary funds, SMSF members are responsible for meeting compliance obligations.
- SMSFs have high set-up and running costs
- They come with complicated compliance obligations
- It takes a lot of time to research investment options
- It can be difficult to make such big financial decisions
Setting up an SMSF takes more work than registering with an ordinary superannuation fund.
An SMSF is a type of trust, so if you want to create an SMSF, you first have to create a trust.
To create a trust, you will need trustees, who must sign a trustee declaration. You will also need identifiable beneficiaries and assets for the fund – although these can be as little as a few dollars.
You will also need to create a trust deed, which is a document that lays out the rules of your SMSF. The trust deed must be prepared by a qualified professional and signed by all trustees.
To qualify as an Australian superannuation fund, the SMSF must meet these three criteria:
- The fund must be established in Australia – or at least one of its assets must be located in Australia
- The central management and control of the fund must ordinarily be in Australia
- The fund must have active members who are Australian residents and who hold at least 50 per cent of the fund’s assets – or it must have no active members
Once your SMSF is established and all trustees have signed a trustee declaration, you have 60 days to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN).
When completing the ABN application, you should ask for a tax file number for your fund. You should also ask for the fund to be regulated by the Australian Taxation Office – otherwise it won’t receive tax concessions.
Your next step is to open a bank account in your fund’s name. This account must be kept separated from the accounts held by the trustees and any related employers.
Your SMSF will also need an electronic service address, so it can receive contributions.
Finally, you will need to create an investment strategy, which explains how your fund will invest its money, and an exit strategy, which explains how and why it would ever close.
Please note that you can pay an adviser to set up your SMSF. You might also want to take the Self-Managed Superannuation Fund Trustee Education Program, which is a free program that has been created by CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand.
Funds that follow the rules are taxed at the concessional rate of 15 per cent. Funds that don’t follow the rules are taxed at the highest marginal tax rate.
Four questions to ask yourself before taking out an SMSF include:
- Do I have enough superannuation to justify the higher set-up and running costs?
- Am I able to handle complicated compliance obligations?
- Am I willing to spend lots of time researching investment options?
- Do I have the skill to make big financial decisions?
It’s also worth remembering that ordinary superannuation funds usually offer discounted life insurance and disability insurance. These discounts would no longer be available if you decided to manage your own super.
SMSFs can accept mandated employer contributions from an employer at any time (Funds need an electronic service address to receive the contributions).
However, SMSFs can’t accept contributions from members who don’t have tax file numbers.
Also, they generally can’t accept assets as contributions from members and they generally can’t accept non-mandated contributions for members who are 75 or older.
SMSFs can invest in conventional assets such as shares, term deposits, managed funds and property.
SMSFs can also buy ‘collectibles’ such as artwork, jewellery, antiques, coins, stamps, vintage cars and wine – although there are special rules that apply to collectibles.
Investments must be made on an arm’s length basis, which means that assets must be bought and sold at market prices, while income must reflect the market rate of return.
As a general rule, SMSFs can’t buy assets from members or related parties.
SMSFs must maintain comprehensive records and submit to annual audits.