SMSF stats just keep getting better

self managed super funds update via epping accountants, W Wen and Co

Recently the ATO released the latest update on the state of the SMSF market.

The report covered the quarter to March this year. Many people have been anticipating the latest Self Managed Super Fund statistics as it usually contains some good news.

The quarterly SMSF update

The statistical report is put together from the huge chunks of data gathered by the ATO from lodgements, returns, registrations and auditor contravention reports.

Gathering all of the relevant statistics can obviously take some time and some of the data used in this ATO report is sourced from very recent financial years. Otherwise, the data reflects the state of play for the period January 1 to March 31, 2017.

To the end of March 2017, the total number of SMSFs was 590,742, with total members being 1,120,117 Australians. The most common age (although this goes back to July 2016) of a trustee was:

  • 60 to 69 (28.3% of the overall SMSF population)
  • 50 to 59 (26.2%)
  • 35 to 49 (23.3%)
  • 25 to 34 (4%)

SMSF Member age group changes

The latest data for the March quarter 2017, however, shows that most of the newly established SMSFs were driven by:

  • 35 to 44-year-olds (30.5% of new funds).
  • 45 to 49-year-olds (17.9%)
  • 50 to 54s (14.9%)
  • 25 to 34s mentioned above increased their presence, with 11.5% of new funds
  • younger than 25-year-old trustees establishing 1.2% of new funds

While the number of establishments is an easily measured score, based on Australian Business Register registrations, having the ATO’s report on hand can give other insights not readily available without the ATO’s tax data available — specifically, the members’ most recently lodged individual tax return as at the date of establishment.

For example:

  • Most new SMSF trustees for the March 2017 quarter earned between $100,000 and $150,000 a year, although this was a slim majority (15.2%).
  • The next most-common earnings range was $40,000 to $60,000 (14.9%),
  • closely followed by the $60,000 to $80,000 and $20,000 to $40,000 ranges (both 14.5%). The $80,000 to $100,000 earners made up 12% of new SMSF trustees.

As you can see, there is no outstanding income range that could be said to define newly established SMSF members.

Interestingly, 10.7% of new SMSF members had taxable earnings between zero and $20,000, which would most likely be explained by factors not covered by these particular ATO statistics.

Average assets per member (at July 2016) was $589,636

However, average assets per each fund were recorded at $1,111,732. How this breaks down into retirement benefits for each individual is further illustrated by the data for the number of members per fund:

  • Most SMSFs (that is, 69.8%) are two member funds,
  • 22.7% are single-member funds.
  • Only 3.9% of SMSFs have the maximum of four members, with a similar result (3.7%) having three.

For assistance with your SMSF, please contact the accountants at our Epping office