Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The ATO stats on Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFS) : what’s in them

Lisa Galbraith CEO

The ATO publish quarterly statistics about self managed superannuation funds and I always find it interesting to see what the stats tell you. The information shared includes; the gender and age split of the SMSF members, which states SMSFs are being established in, how many SMSFs are being wound up and what SMSF trustees are investing in.

At Cleardocs, we are interested to see how many SMSFs are being established and which states are showing the most growth. We can then compare that with our sales information on SMSF setups. Our SMSF pension product is useful for SMSF members as they move from accumulation phase to retirement phase. So we are also interested in how the age profile of members is changing.

The asset allocation of the SMSFs and how that is changing also has some relevancy to Cleardocs. The ATO website has SMSF data back to 2004. Looking at changes over the years it is interesting to see how little has really changed. Cash and listed shares, not surprisingly, continue to have the largest proportion of SMSF asset allocation. In Dec 2008, 30% of the SMSF asset pool was in cash and term deposits (higher than normal). This has since shrunk to just under 27% (in June 2004 it was 23%). Listed shares are currently 31% of the pool up from 26% in 2008. Collectibles continues to be a very small proportion of the SMSF asset base and the regular commentary on this aspect of superannuation law is likely to keep it at this very low level.

Investment in property (both residential and commercial) has certainly increased over time reflecting the SMSF borrowing laws introduced in 2007. Interest in the Cleardocs SMSF borrowing packages has followed this growth with many trustees and advisors (and financial institutions) still clarifying their position and treading carefully in this “new” area of law. It will be interesting to see how this segment of SMSF asset allocation changes over time. Cleardocs will continue to look at developing document packages that help SMSF trustee(s) structure their funds.

For more information on Cleardocs SMSFs, click here, then click on the “Superannuation” tab at the top of the page.

How does your SMSF stack up against the average? See the ATO stats here.

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