SMSFs sitting happy in latest ATO data

Assets held in self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) rose more than usual in 2016/17, with the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO’s) newly-released statistics for the time period painting a positive picture of the $750 billion industry.

Not only did SMSFs make an average return of 10.2 per cent for the 2017 financial year, compared to 9.1 per cent for Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) funds, but they also saw a fall in total expenses.

Five of the nine basis point decrease in expenses could be put down to lower administrative and operating expenses, which the SMSF Association said highlighted the increased use of technology and software in SMSF administration.

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The average assets when an SMSF was established in 2016-17 rose to $521,000 compared with the stable levels of $370,000 in the previous two financial years, representing a 38 per cent increase. The median assets when an SMSF was established also rose substantially to $320,000 from the low $200,000 levels in the previous four years.

“This demonstrates that SMSF trustees are getting quality SMSF advice and that they understand the need for an appropriate-sized SMSF to ensure they get the full benefits from their fund,” SMSF Association chief executive, John Maroney, said.

It was worth noting too that FY2017 was the last financial year before the 1 July 2017 super changes, including the $1.6 million transfer balance cap, took effect, impacting SMSF member behaviour with contributions rising by $10 billion before the 30 June 2017 deadline.

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