Compare SMSF Term Deposits

Find out how to compare SMSF term deposits with Savvy to find the best place to stash your savings.

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, updated on September 11th, 2023       

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Compare SMSF term deposits

Interest rates are vitally important when it comes to term deposits.  The difference of just a few points in rates can result in thousands of dollars more in interest earned over the course of a long-term deposit. For this reason, it’s important to compare SMSF term deposits carefully to find the right place to squirrel your savings away.  Savvy can help you find the very best interest rates by comparing term deposits from a range of Australian banks and financial institutions.  

site-logos Rabobank 1 Year Term Deposit
  Maximum rate Interest rate Minimum deposit Government guarantee  
site-logos 5.00%
1 Year
5.00% $1,000 First $250,000
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Start with as little as $1,000 and get your interest paid monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly. Receive a 0.10% loyalty bonus when you automatically reinvest your Term Deposit before maturity

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site-logos Citi Term Deposit
  Maximum rate Interest rate Minimum deposit Government guarantee  
site-logos 5.05%
1 Year
1.25% $10,000 Yes
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$0 Set up and no ongoing account-keeping fees. Interest rate depends on balance amount. Optional 3,6,9 or 12 month terms. Balances from $10,000.

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More about comparing SMSF term deposits

What features should I compare with SMSF term deposits?

There’s a range of things to consider and compare when first opening a term deposit for your SMSF.  Some of the main factors to think about are:

  • Interest rate

You’ll want the highest interest rate possible to help your funds grow more quickly. Interest rates are expressed as a percentage per annum (% p.a.) which makes them simple to compare.  Even the smallest difference in interest rate can make a huge difference to the amount of interest you’ll receive on your SMSF term deposit, as the following example illustrates:

All examples are based on a deposit of $150,000 for two years, with the interest paid annually and compounded in the second year

Interest rate Interest earned Additional interest
2.5% p.a.
2.8% p.a.
3.0% p.a.
3.2% p.a.
3.4% p.a.
3.6% p.a.

As you can see from this chart, just a small percentage increase in the interest rate (for example, from 2.5% p.a. to 3.0% p.a.) can mean the difference of more than $1,500 in how much interest you ultimately receive on your savings.

  • Terms available

How long you wish to lock away your money will determine the term of the deposit you’re after.  Longer terms come with higher interest rates.  Not all banks and financial institutions offer the full range of terms, so make sure the institution you choose offers the exact term that you’re after, with options ranging from one month right up to five years.

  • Interest rate payment

Financial institutions differ when it comes to the frequency of payment of interest.  Some will allow monthly interest to be credited to a term deposit account so compounding can help to increase your savings.  Others only offer interest to be paid quarterly, half-yearly, annually or at maturity.  Check which option will be most beneficial to your savings using Savvy’s term deposit calculator to do the hard sums for you.

  • Minimum deposit requirements

Some of the best deals in SMSF term deposits come with minimum deposit requirements.  These range from $5,000 up to $25,000 or more, so check out what the minimum deposit requirements are when you’re planning your next investment.

  • Automatic rollover and bonus interest

It’s also worth investigating if there are any bonus interest rates available, as some banks offer a ‘loyalty’ bonus interest rate if you agree to roll over your funds for a second term. For example, some institutions offer a 0.10% p.a. additional loyalty bonus rate for rollovers on top of the advertised rate.

  • Special offers

Be on the lookout for special offers which are advertised by some banks and financial institutions from time to time, as these can offer great value.  They’re often advertised on the most-popular terms such as three months, six months and a year to entice new customers.  Keep checking back in with Savvy as we help you compare special deals from a variety of institutions.

What are some ways to find the best SMSF interest rates available?

The best interest rates will depend on the term over which you’re looking to invest your SMSF’s funds and the size of your deposit. In many cases, if you’re able to deposit a larger sum, you’ll earn a higher interest rate.  Banks and other financial institutions tend to offer the best interest rates on their most popular financial products, so make sure you compare some of the most popular short terms such as six months, nine months, and one year, as well as two and three years for long-term deposits.

Some of the best SMSF interest rates are currently being offered by small to medium-sized banks, plus online banks and financial institutions.  Smaller or online institutions have fewer overheads than the big banks in Australia, so they’re able to offer higher interest rates.  Compare term offers from institutions like AMP Bank, Bank of Queensland and Macquarie Bank if you want to find some of the best interest rate deals in Australia.

Ultimately, though, it’s highly beneficial to compare your options with Savvy to make sure you get the best deal available.  By considering a wider range of options around Australia, you can make a more informed choice on which deposit is best for your SMSF.

Why compare term deposits with Savvy?

Pros and cons of SMSF term deposits


Guaranteed return

Term deposits offer you a fixed interest rate with a guaranteed return on your investment, meaning you’ll know what you’re set to earn over your chosen term.

Set and forget investment

Your term deposit investment can be set in place and then left alone to mature, with no additional monitoring or involvement required until maturation.

Removal of temptation to spend

Because you’re locking your savings away for a set period, you won’t be able to easily access your funds, which can help you achieve your savings goals more effectively.





Locks up your funds

Taking out a term deposit is a commitment which can come with substantial penalties if you withdraw early, so you can’t access your funds while they’re locked away earning interest for you.

Miss out on other opportunities

Whilst your savings are locked up in a term deposit, you could potentially miss out if another financial opportunity presents itself during the life of your term deposit.

Interest rate set in stone

If you take out a long-term deposit, such as over three years, you may be disappointed if interest rates rise a great deal in that period, meaning you miss out on gains from higher interest rates.

Here’s more of your questions about SMSF term deposits

When is it best to get a short-term deposit?

In an era of rising interest rates (such as there is in Australia in mid-2022), it could be worthwhile taking out a shorter-term deposit in case interest rates continue to rise rapidly over the next 12 months. This gives you the flexibility to switch to another deposit with a much higher rate down the track, rather than miss out altogether.  You may also opt for a shorter-term deposit if you’re unsure of whether your SMSF’s funds will need to be accessed in the future.

What documents will I need to open a SMSF term deposit?

All financial institutions are slightly different when it comes to the exact documentation required.  However, to open any bank account or term deposit, you’ll need to provide 100 points of ID if you are new to the financial institution as a person:

  • at least one document which shows your signature, and one with a photo
  • your passport and driver’s licence will usually be sufficient proof of ID
  • in addition, you’ll need the details of all the beneficiaries and trustees of your SMSF
  • you'll need to show your fund’s Trust Deed
What are the advantages of term deposits over savings accounts?

The advantages of term deposits when compared to savings accounts are higher interest rates, a guaranteed fixed interest rate and a guaranteed return on investment.  This will give you more certainty when it comes to budgeting. However, savings accounts offer more flexibility and ongoing access to your funds.

Will I have to give notice if I want to withdraw my funds?

Yes – most banks and financial institutions require notice if funds are to be withdrawn.  This varies between 14 and 31 days.  If you do wish to withdraw your funds early due to unforeseen circumstances, you’ll be liable to pay an early exit penalty and will also lose some of the interest earned on your investment.

What is the maximum length of term deposit that I can take out?

Financial institutions in Australia offer term deposits up to a maximum of five years in length. Prior to 2007, ten-year term deposits were routinely offered to customers wanting to lock away their savings for an extended period. Following the Global Financial Crisis, these ten-year terms were withdrawn. 

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