SMSF’s & Illegal Activities

With the number of self-managed super funds growing by the day, SMSF’s are being targeted by scammers who want your money. SMSF scam
An offer to help you get your superannuation money early might seem like a great idea. But if you agree to it you could end up in a lot of trouble.

Accessing your super before age 55 (at the earliest) is illegal except in very limited circumstances. Don’t be tempted to accept an illegal offer. Find out how super scams operate so you can protect your retirement savings.

Read below what the ASIC & the ATO have identified as illegal SMSF activity:

  • How super scams operate (ASIC Moneysmart (
    • The scammers say they can withdraw your super or move it to a ‘self-managed super fund’ so you can pay off your debts or use the money for something you really want.
    • Once your super has been withdrawn or transferred, the scammer then takes a large commission or may even steal the entire amount for themselves.
    • By agreeing to the scam, you risk losing your hard-earned super savings. You may also unintentionally get caught up in tax penalties as a result of taking your super early. The scammers may even get you to sign false statements, exposing you to fines.


  • SMSF loan arrangements that contravene super laws (ATO)
    • Has someone asked you to invest your SMSF funds into a trust, company or investment product, and then offered to lend some or all of that money back to you, your company or any entity you control?
    • If the answer is yes, then it is likely this arrangement contravenes superannuation laws.
    • We understand some individuals and organisations are promoting arrangements where SMSF monies are deposited into unit trusts or pooled investment trusts less a management fee. This money is then used to obtain a personal or business related mortgage which results in the SMSF assets being used to provide members with current-day benefits.
    • We are closely scrutinizing these lending arrangements.
    • Trustees are reminded such arrangements would breach the sole purpose test as the SMSF is being used for a purpose other than providing retirement benefits for members.
    • Our view is that the primary purpose of such arrangements is to enable individuals and any associates to use their super savings, rather than assets held outside the fund to provide assistance to members or relatives.
    • We encourage you to use a properly licensed, independent financial adviser and seek the advice of your fund’s tax agent before investing in such arrangements.