ATO SMSF statistics are published every quarter for the self-managed super fund (SMSF) market. These reports provide a valuable insight into the SMSF sector and help confirm trends that SMSF professionals such as advisers and accountants need to be aware of when operating in the space.
ATO SMSF Statistics – December 2019
The latest quarterly statistics for December 2019 were released by the ATO on the 30th of June 2020.
View our SMSF Snapshot info-graphic below:
Key insights from the statistics
- There were 4,623 new SMSFs established in the December 2019 quarter, which was slightly down on the 4,801 from the corresponding December 2018 quarter
- Net new funds (SMSF set-ups less SMSF wind-ups) were 4,426 which was higher than 3,628 compared to the December 2018 quarter due to fewer SMSFs being closed down
- There are a total of 594,163 registered SMSFs as at 31 December 2019
- Across all SMSFs total net assets were just over $708 billion as at 31 December 2019
- The largest asset allocations are to:
- Listed shares (29.93%)
- Cash and term deposits (20.44%)
- Unlisted trusts (11.95%)
- Non-residential real property (i.e. commercial property) ($8.91%)
- The median SMSF balance is $719,840 and the median member balance is $408,237
- 47.4% of new SMSFs set up are by people under the age of 45 years old – this proportion has increased from 40.6% from the December 2014 ATO SMSF statistics
SMSF members are getting younger
SMSFs are no longer the domain of the millionaire baby boomer. In recently years an SMSF is more likely to be set up by a millennial aged under 45 years old provided they have the income and superannuation savings to support an SMSF.
Individuals who are in their mid 30s to mid 40s have had the benefit of receiving compulsory superannuation for the majority of their working lives, and if they work in well paid professional occupations or have been successful in running a business, chances are they have a healthy superannuation balance. In addition, when both members of a couple have significant savings, the cost-effectiveness of an SMSF increases.
Learn more about average SMSF administration costs here.
The ability to purchase direct property through the use of a limited recourse borrowing arrangement (LRBA) enables a super fund loan to be obtained to assist younger SMSF members buy property with super. The potential downside of this strategy is a lack of diversification and ‘concentration risk’ meaning that if that property investment doesn’t perform, the SMSF members long term savings goals will may not be reached.
Another trend impacting younger people setting up SMSFs is the F.I.R.E. movement (financial independence, retire early). The people who follow the FIRE approach are avid investors, primarily in low cost index ETFs and often once confident investing personally, will also take control of their superannuation and invest directly using an SMSF.
Control over investment choices is a key driver of all SMSF trustees, especially those under age 45. Many SMSF members in this age group wish to invest directly in technology companies or in businesses and funds that invest ethically when it comes to environmental and social issues.
Feedback and questions on our SMSF statistics snapshot
If you have any questions regarding these statistics, or any feedback on items you would like to see further analysis on, please get in touch.