New low for SMSF establishments in September 2018 quarter

The number of new SMSFs being started has reached a new low, with only 5,580 funds set up in the September 2018 quarter according to the latest ATO statistics.

The total number of SMSFs continues to grow – there were 596,059 as at the end of September 2018 – but growth is slowing. Each of the last four quarters has made a new low for SMSF establishments.

For the September 2018 quarter the ATO statistics have 5,580 SMSFs established, with 148 winding-up, resulting in 5,432 net establishments. The September 2018 quarter is the lowest for SMSF establishments since at least the June 2008 quarter. Read more...

Number of SMSFs being set up is at lowest level in a decade

The number of new SMSFs being set up is the lowest in at least a decade, based on the latest and historical ATO statistics.

Annual SMSF establishments 2008/09 - 2017/18

Only 25,034 SMSFs were established in 2017/18, according to the ATO statistics. This compares to the 30,540 established in 2016/17 and the high point over the past ten years of 41,079 in 2011/12.

Annual SMSF establishment and wind-ups 2008/09 - 2017/18

SMSF wind-ups have also declined, but not at the same rate as establishments, leaving the net establishment of SMSFs also at a decade-long low of 14,505, just below the 14,844 net establishments in 2009/10. Though, based on previous years, the June quarter SMSF wind-up figure is likely to be significantly revised upwards – only 206 SMSFs are shown as ceasing in the quarter, compared to and average of 9,142 for the June quarter over the past four years. Such a revision would leave the SMSF net establishment figure at close to a quarter of those of recent years. Read more...

Super funds returns far outpacing growth in weekly earnings and CPI

Super fund returns are outpacing growth in weekly earnings and inflation, over the short and long term.

Analysis released by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) finds that the median accumulation phase super fund returned (after tax and investment fees) 10.0% per annum over the full 56 years covered by the study. This exceeds CPI over the same period by 3.2% p.a. and Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) by 4.9% p.a.

Super fund returns v Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) and CPI

Though little detail is given about the methodology of the analysis, which was was conducted by Morningstar. Read more...

Industry super funds now hold more assets than retail funds

Industry super funds now hold more assets than retail funds, the latest APRA superannuation statistics have revealed.

During the June 2018 quarter the total assets of industry funds exceeded the assets in retail funds. At the end of the financial year there was $631.6 billion in industry funds compared to $622.3 billion in retail funds.Total superannuation assets, industry super funds versus retail super funds, in billions of dollars

Data source: June 2018 APRA Quarterly Superannuation Performance statistics

Industry Super Australia (ISA) said members were “voting with their feet” – ascribing the growth in assets in industry funds to a “surge” in benefit inflows and investment performance. Read more...

SMSF establishments at lowest level in years in December 2017 quarter

The establishment of SMSFs is at the lowest it has been since at least 2008.

According to the latest ATO statistics only 5,456 SMSFs were established in the December 2017 quarter – the lowest number of any quarter in years.

 SMSF establishments and wind-ups - June 2013 - December 2017

Data source: Self-managed super fund quarterly statistical report – December 2017

Note that the spike is wind-ups in the September quarter is due to action by the ATO, cancelling the ABNs of almost 9,000 SMSFs for which there was no evidence they were operating.

“As a result, there was an upward revision in the number of SMSFs that wound up in the September 2017 quarter. This also led to flow-on revisions of previously reported estimates for the total number of SMSFs and SMSF members for the quarter,” said the ATO. There can also be a lag in establishments or wind-ups being reported to the ATO, and so the data is subject to revisions. Read more...

SMSF investment returns on par with large APRA-regulated super funds

SMSF investment returns are on par with those of large APRA-regulated superannuation funds, according to recent ATO data.

The SMSF Association said this was welcome news for the over 1 million people with an SMSF. The Association pointed to the, recently released, 2015/16 SMSF statistical overview as “strongly” supporting the view that SMSF members can effectively mange their retirement investment portfolios.

“This strong performance, the fifth consecutive year of positive returns, is also an endorsement of the SMSF specialists who advise many members about their investment portfolios,” said SMSF Association CEO John Maroney. Read more...

Millennials total share of super doubled over last decade

The share of total superannuation held by Millennials has more than doubled in the past decade, but younger generations are also the least satisfied with the financial performance of their super fund.

The share of super held by Millennials increased from 6.4% in September 2007 to 14.6% in September 2017, according to figures released by Roy Morgan Research. This represents an increase of $226 billion.

“Gains in superannuation market share over the last decade were seen across all three of the younger generations, with Generation X up 8.7% points (to 36.2%), Millennials up 8.2% points (to 14.6%) and Generation Z up from zero to 1.9%,” said Roy Morgan Research. Read more...

Total super assets up 10% in 2016/17 to $2.3 trillion

Total superannuation assets have grown by 10.0% over the 2016/17 financial year to $2.324 trillion, according to the latest APRA statistics.

Total assets in APRA-regulated super funds stood at $1.444 trillion at 30 June 2017, up 11.7% from a year earlier. This includes $594.7 billion in MySuper assets, up 25.5%.

Assets in SMSFs reached $696.7 billion, up 9.8% for the financial year.

Data source: APRA releases superannuation statistics for June 2017

For funds with over four members both contributions and benefit payments were up. Total contributions for the 2016/17 financial year for such funds were $116.9 billion, up 12.2%. Total benefit payments were up 15.1% to $74.5 billion. Read more...

SMSF establishments hit new low in March 2017 quarter – only 6,180

The establishments of new SMSFs has dropped to a new low, according to the latest ATO statistics.

Only 6,180 SMSFs were established in the March 2017 quarter, according to the ATO Self-managed super fund statistical report – March 2017, compared to 6,721 in the December 2016 quarter. The March quarter is generally the lowest for SMSF establishments, but this is considerably lower than any quarter since at least mid-2012 – the earliest in the ATO data, which recorded 11,681 SMSF establishments. Read more...

Almost $2.3 trillion in superannuation at March 2017: APRA

Assets in superannuation have increased by 11.2% over the twelve months to March 2017, to $2.3 trillion, according to the latest APRA statistics.

As at March 2017 there was $1,400.8 billion in APRA-regulated superannuation funds, an increase of 12.1%. This includes $555.0 billion in MySuper products, an increase of 22.6%.

At the same date there was $674.7 million in SMSFs – an increase of 12.8%.

“The annual industry-wide rate of return (ROR) for entities with more than four members for the year ending March 2017 was 10.5 per cent. The five year average annualised ROR to March 2017 was 8.6 per cent,” said APRA. Read more...