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Corporate trustee now winning the day

corporate trustee SMSF

Having a corporate trustee is now the preferred operational structure for SMSFs at establishment and during the fund’s lifespan.

A recent sector poll has shown the majority of advisers are recommending individuals establishing an SMSF use a corporate trustee structure for the fund as opposed to having individual trustees.

During a recent SuperConcept’s webinar, attendees were asked what their current structure preference is for an SMSF and 56 per cent of participants said it was to employ a corporate trustee. The poll also revealed 21 per cent of the audience admitted their choice was still to install an individual trustee structure, while another 23 per cent of delegates indicated it depends on the circumstances of the individuals involved.

“That’s probably in line with what I thought would be the case,” SuperConcepts SMSF technical support executive manager Nicholas Ali said.

According to the fund administrator, the poll reflects its own experience with the SMSFs it services.

“I see a lot more [SMSFs] coming through now with a corporate trustee structure as opposed to [ones using] individuals and a lot more are changing from individual to corporate lately as well,” SuperConcepts client service manager Jessica Griffith noted.

SuperConcepts Queensland state sales manager Garry Johnston said the poll and his organisation’s actual experience is evidence attitudes have shifted in recent years.

“When we were first [servicing SMSFs] we would see a lot more individual [trustee structures] than corporates, so now I think the pendulum has certainly swung back the other way,” Johnston noted.

Although the SMSF preference now appears to be to use a corporate trustee, Ali pointed out one structure is not more correct than the other.

“Individual versus corporate trustee, there is no right or wrong. There are a couple of distinct benefits [in choosing one over the other], but there’s no right or wrong answer with regard to SMSF trustees,” he noted.

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