ATO Statistics tell a great SMSF story

The latest set of ATO statistics on self-managed super funds (SMSFs) paint a picture of an ever-growing and engaged community that continues to defy the critics.

Some of the great “firsts” worth celebrating:

  • For the first time, average assets per SMSF exceeded $1 million.
  • For the first time, there were over 1 million SMSF members.
  • SMSFs now account for 29% of the $2 trillion in superannuation assets
  • The median age of SMSF members fell under 50 years of age
  • SMSFs recorded a 5th consecutive year of positive returns.

In this blog, I will look at 5 trends worth highlighting;

  1. Growth, Growth and more Growth!
  2. Members are getting younger
  3. Member contributions are rising
  4. Consolidation in SMSF Tax & Audit
  5. The latest stats on Limited Recourse Borrowing

All graphs and figures below are from the latest set of ATO statistics. If you would like access to a full copy of the ATO report, head to:

https://www.ato.gov.au/About-ATO/Research-and-statistics/In-detail/Super-statistics/SMSF/Self-managed-superannuation-funds–A-statistical-overview-2013-14/

 

1. Growth, Growth and more Growth!

In the past 5 years:

  • SMSF assets have grown by $180.9 billion or 44% and now total over $590 billion in assets.
  • The number of SMSFs have grown by 116,793 or 27%
  • The number of SMSF members has grown by 213,035 or 25%
SMSF population
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Total SMSFs 440,205 473,669 502,709 526,275 556,998
Total members 836,805 899,778 951,186 991,621 1,049,840
  • The average assets of SMSFs grew by 23% and reached more than $1 million
  • Average assets per member increased 24% to exceed $564,000
 Average asset sizes ($)
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Assets per member 454,870 486,585 476,993 513,805 564,086
Assets per SMSF 866,431 925,323 905,503 975,206 1,066,080

 

2. Members are getting younger

  • The average age of SMSF members of newly established funds is now under 50.
Age range 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
< 25 0.7% 0.8% 0.9% 1.1% 1.2%
25 – 34 4.8% 5.3% 6.2% 7.7% 8.8%
35 – 44 18.2% 18.7% 20.1% 24.3% 27.9%
45 – 54 27.8% 28.0% 29.2% 31.9% 32.8%
55 – 64 29.8% 30.1% 30.3% 26.1% 22.7%
65- 74 16.6% 15.5% 12.1% 8.2% 6.1%
>74 2.3% 1.6% 1.3% 0.8% 0.5%
Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Average member age 54.0 53.4 52.3 50.2 48.8

 

3. Member Contributions are rising

  • In the past 5 years, Member contributions made to SMSFs increased by 41%, however employer contributions made to SMSFs fell by 9%.

 

Total SMSF contributions ($m)
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Member 14,483 16,842 19,242 18,203 20,431
Employer 6,736 6,978 7,521 5,486 6,102
  • Inward rollovers into SMSFs continue to exceed outward rollovers 3:1
Total SMSF rollovers ($m)
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Inward 13,778 15,579 16,109 16,755 15,625
Outward 4,215 4,180 3,808 4,305 5,026

 

4. Consolidation in SMSF  Audit & Tax

Audits by SMSF auditors, by financial year
 Number of audits 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
< 5 funds 36.9% 35.7% 32.6% 17.2% 15.7%
5 – 50 funds 45.1% 45.4% 48.3% 54.4% 54.6%
51 – 250 funds 16.0% 16.8% 16.9% 24.8% 25.7%
> 250 funds 2.1% 2.2% 2.3% 3.6% 4.0%

 

Number of SMSF annual returns lodged per tax agent
 Number of SMSF annual returns lodged per tax agent Tax agents in 2010 Tax agents in 2011 Tax agents in 2012 Tax agents in 2013 Tax agents in 2014
< 5 funds 38.3% 36.9% 35.7% 33.9% 33.9%
5 – 50 funds 56.4% 57.3% 58.0% 59.1% 59.3%
51 – 250 funds 5.1% 5.6% 6.2% 6.8% 6.7%
> 250 funds 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2%

 

5.  The latest stats on Limited Recourse Borrowing

  • SMSFs held $13 billion in borrowings representing 2.3% of total SMSF assets
  • The proportion of SMSFs with borrowings increased from 2.3% 2010 to 6.7%
  • The average amount borrowed increased from $305,000 in 2010 to $373,000
  • Real property assets collectively made up 85% or $12.8 billion of investments held under limited recourse borrowing arrangements
  • Most SMSFs with borrowings are in the accumulation phase

 


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