Accrued Benefits


The liability for accrued benefits, or member entitlements, is the present obligation to pay benefits to members or beneficiaries in the future.


Accrued benefits of a SMSF may arise from:

  • accumulation entitlements where the member bears the investment risk;
  • pension accounts due to members; and
  • insurance claims paid or payable to the SMSF owing to members.


The audit assertions with respect to a SMSF’s accrued benefits are:

  • Existence – the accrued benefits are entitlements of members.
  • Rights and obligations (ownership) – the accrued benefits are obligations of the SMSF.
  • Completeness – accrued benefits of each member of the SMSF have been recorded.
  • Valuation and allocation – accrued benefits are recorded at appropriate amounts and allocated to the appropriate account/member.


Audit risks for accrued benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • contributions not being allocated correctly to members;
  • income not being allocated correctly or appropriately to individual members;
  • benefit payments or expenses being allocated incorrectly to member’s balances; and
  • member balances not being carried forward correctly from one period to another.