SMSF growth slows, but record number of SMSFs and super assets

Growth in the number of SMSFs has continued to slow, while at the same time the number of SMSFs and the total assets in superannuation have never been higher.

There was a total of $2.1099 trillion in superannuation as at 30 June 2016, according to the latest APRA super statistics. This represents a 3.6% increase from June 2015. $1.3013 trillion of this was in APRA-regulated super funds, up 4.4% from a year earlier. $474.9 billion was in MySuper products, up 10.9%. SMSFs held $621.7 billion, up 3.0%.

According to the ATO at the end of June 2016 there were 1,087,841 SMSFs, with a total of 577,236 members.

Total number of SMSFs and SMSF members as at June 2016, ATO SMSF statistics

Source: APRA releases superannuation statistics for June 2016

Though this is a new record for the number of SMSFs, growth appears to be slowing. The trend of declining SMSF establishments has continued in the latest ATO statistics:

SMSF establishments and wind-ups June 2016, ATO SMSF statistics

Source: ATO Self-managed super fund statistical report – June 2016

However caution should be taken with these figures, particular in respect of wind-ups. Note for instance that there is not the usual spike in SMSF wind-ups in June 2016 that occurred in prior years. The ATO says: “Quarterly establishments and wind-ups for recent quarters may be understated, because there is often a time lag between when this event occurs and when we receive notification from the SMSF.”

The broader downward trend on establishments is easier to see on the annual establishment/wind-up figures:

SMSF establishment and wind-ups June 2016, 2015/16, ATO SMSF statistics

Source: ATO Self-managed super fund statistical report – June 2016

It is a reasonable expectation that when the figures are revised the is a higher number of wind-ups, lowering the net establishments.

It will be interesting to watch if this trend of slower SMSF growth continues.

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