Virgin Money Super is a plan within the Mercer Super Trust, designed to provide a default structure for superannuation investments with competitive fees to optimise retirement incomes for members across all industries.Virgin Money Super offers members access to a range of Choice investment options, as well as the LifeStage Tracker, which is a whole of life investment strategy that adjusts underlying asset allocations according to a member's age, gradually 'gliding' from a growth-oriented investment strategy to a defensive-oriented strategy. The LifeStage Tracker Born 1959-1963 option outperformed the SuperRatings Index over the 1 year period to 30 June 2019.Fees are competitive and lower than the industry average across all account balances assessed. Eligible members can apply for a reduced asset-based administration fee via the 'Virgin Money Super Baby Break' program for a maximum of 12 months. Members can switch investment options at no cost.A full suite of insurance cover is offered, with Death and Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD) cover automatically provided to eligible members upon joining the fund. Members can apply to increase their Death and TPD cover following the occurrence of a prescribed Life Event without additional underwriting. Income Protection (IP) with a benefit period of 2 years, covering up to 75% of salary, is available following a 90 day waiting period. Members have access to a free Simple Super Advice service, as well as comprehensive financial planning services provided through Mercer Financial Advice. Online account access allows members to check their account balance and investment performance, as well as make investment changes.
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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