Loans and early access

The sole purpose of your self-managed super fund is to provide super payments for you in your retirement, so there are strict rules about how and when you can access your super.


Meet Tony. The assets in his SMSF include a residential property and cash.

Tony has a son, Ryan. Ryan is currently studying, so doesn’t have a lot of income.

Tony wonders if he can use some of his fund’s assets to help Ryan.

Tony asks his advisor if Ryan could stay in the fund’s residential property rent-free for a year.

He tells Tony this is not an option – providing financial assistance to a fund member or to a relative of a fund member is never allowed.

Tony asks if he could lend some of the self-managed super funds money to Ryan, and Ryan will repay the loan with interest.

This is also not an option – an SMSF is never allowed to lend money to a member or a relative, even if they pay interest on the loan.

What if Tony withdraws money from the fund himself to give to Ryan?

Again, this is not an option. Tony has not met a condition of release, so this would be early access, which is strictly prohibited.

Tony’s adviser explains that the fund’s assets must be maintained solely to provide super for his retirement. He must follow the rules if he wants to continue receiving tax benefits for his fund.

If his SMSF is made non-complying, it could lose almost half of its assets in tax, and Tony could be disqualified from being a trustee.

If you have any questions about accessing your super, it’s a good idea to talk to us or the ATO as soon as possible.

For more SMSF information, take a look at our other videos – or contact us here