Q: I (my wife & I) have had a self-managed super fund (SMSF) since 1996. As rules concerning super pensions etc have changed since the date of my deed, can we simply sign a current, new, trust deed to make it effective for our requirements, or do I need to amend the relevant clauses in the old deed?
A: Updating a trust deed is not the same thing as signing a new deed. The important distinction between updating or replacing a trust deed, and the implications of doing the wrong thing, are explained later in this response.
Before that question is answered, it is important to highlight that if a super fund’s trust deed has not been updated since 1996 (or even since 2006, or now even potentially since 2016), then your trust deed certainly will not reflect the current super rules. A lot has changed in super in the past 20 years. Some of the significant changes that have taken place in the past 20 years or so include: