Decline in number of SMSFs being started may have stopped

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The number of new SMSFs being set up may have stopped falling, with 4,486 SMSFs established in the June 2019 quarter, the latest ATO statistics reveal.

The establishment of SMSFs has been, generally, falling for some time. But this may have stopped, or at least paused, in the June 2019 quarter.

The latest ATO statistics for SMSFs – covering the period of April to June 2019 – show that 4,486 SMSFs were started in the June 2019 quarter. This is almost exactly the same number of SMSFs started in the previous quarter, which was the lowest number in years.

The June quarter has traditionally been one of the better months for SMSF establishment. Though the June 2019 quarter did include the Federal election – with the debate around Labor’s franking credit policy, which would have impacted a large number of SMSFs.

Data source: Self-managed super fund quarterly statistical report – June 2019

However, the total number of SMSFs is likely to have declined in the June quarter. The ATO statistics currently show only 193 SMSFs wound-up in the quarter, but this number is likely to be significantly revised upwards. The average number of SMSFs wound up in the June quarter over the last five years is 9,712. Because of the way the data is collected the ATO generally has accurate figures sooner for SMSFs being established compared to being wound-up. Though the establishment figure may also be revised. For example, the March 2019 quarter wind-up figures have been revised up from 189 to 637, while the establishments have been revised from 3,964 to 4,484.

Of the SMSFs started in the June 2019 quarter, 62.9% had members under age 50, and 45.40% had members aged under 45.

Data source: Self-managed super fund quarterly statistical report – June 2019

The current ATO figures (with the figure of 193 wound-up SMSFs) has the total number of SMSFs at the end of June 2019 as 599,678.

Data source: Self-managed super fund quarterly statistical report – June 2019

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