ATO figures show SMSFs still growing

self-managed super funds ATO australian taxation office SMSFs term deposits

23 February 2012
| By Chris Kennedy |
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There were more self-managed super funds (SMFSs) in operation than ever before, with 874,000 SMSF members in 458,000 funds at the end of December 2011, according to figures recently released by the Australian Taxation Office.

There were more total and net fund establishments in the 2011 financial year than in any previous year other than 2007, with almost 33,000 new funds and 3,200 windups - less windups than in any of the previous seven years.

In the two quarters since, there have been around 16,000 new establishments, with just over 200 funds wound up.

At the end of the December quarter, the sector held assets of $400 billion - slightly down from the June 2011 peak of $407 billion. $122 billion was in listed shares and $115 billion in cash and term deposits.

Close to $80 billion was held in listed and unlisted trusts and other managed investment schemes, while real property (both residential and non-residential) accounted for $60 billion.

Around a quarter of SMSFs fell into each of the $200,000 to $500,000 and $500,000 to $1 million categories. 6.8 per cent of SMSFs held less than $50,000 in assets. The average assets held per SMSF were just under $900,000.

Around half of all fund members had current incomes between zero and $40,000 per annum, suggesting a large proportion of retired and semi-retired members.

The number of members per fund was steady over the past six years: around two-thirds of SMSFs have two members and just under a quarter of funds have one member. Three- and four-member funds represent between 4 and 5 per cent each of the overall funds.

Member ages were also steady, with around a third of SMSF members in the 55-64 age range, a quarter each in the over-65s and 45-54 brackets, less than 15 per cent aged 35-44, and around one in 20 younger than 35.

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