What is the regulatory environment around superannuation funds and SMSF’s?

A superannuation fund that wishes to benefit from the taxation concessions in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) is required to satisfy certain provisions contained in the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (the SIS Act) and the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (the SIS Regs). One such requirement is that the fund must be a “regulated superannuation fund” as described in s 19 of the SIS Act, the trustee of which has elected that the SIS Act applies in relation to the fund.

Resident regulated superannuation funds that comply with all relevant provisions are called “complying superannuation funds” (ss 42 and 42A of the SIS Act). Such funds will also be “complying superannuation funds” for tax purposes where notice has been given by the regulator to the trustee of the fund stating that the fund is a “complying superannuation fund” (s 45 of the SIS Act).

For self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) (s 17A of the SIS Act) – the regulator is the Australian Taxation Office (ATO); for other funds, the regulator is the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).