LATEST SMSF STATISTICS RELEASED FROM THE ATO
SMSF average balance hits $1m for the first time
Property accounts for most SMSF assets under limited recourse borrowing.
by Joanna Mather
The number of self-managed super funds has grown by 27 per cent over the past five years and average balances have hit $1 million for the first time.
The latest Tax Office statistics released on Wednesday show SMSFs returned 9.8 per cent on assets in fiscal 2014, the fifth consecutive year of positive returns.
"For the first time the average assets of SMSFs grew to over $1 million in 2014, a growth of 23 per cent over five years," an ATO assistant commissioner, Kasey Macfarlane, said
The data shows do it yourself super funds account for 99.5 per cent of all superannuation funds and 29 per cent of the $2 trillion in total super assets, or $590 billion.
The ATO data shows a surge in funds moving from the accumulation phase to to the tax-free pension phase, an increase of 8 per cent in the last five years.
"This shift is reflected by the growth of 32 per cent in SMSF members receiving benefits payments from their fund over the same five year period. The 2013-14 financial year also saw a rise in total benefit payments to over $30 billion."
The average assets per small fund is $1,066,080 and median assets are $602,629. Nearly 31 per cent of SMSFs now have assets of $1 million or over, including 10.8 per cent with assets between $2 million to $5 million; 2.1 per cent in the $5 million to $10 million range and 0.5 per cent with a balance over $10 million.
The high balances have attracted criticism that the generous tax breaks for superannuation are being used to build family wealth rather save for retirement.
The number of small funds in debt also increased from from 2.3 per cent of funds in 2010 to 6.7 per cent of funds in 2014.
Borrowings were equal to 2.3 per cent of total SMSF assets as compared to 1.9 per cent at June 2013, and the value of assets under limited recourse borrowing has increased, from $15.6 billion to $17.8 billion, an upward revision of $2.2 billion.
"To improve the accuracy of reporting of assets held under LRBAs, for the September 2015 quarter, the ATO has refined the methodology used to estimate growth" in these loans.
The value of assets held by under limited recourse as a proportion of total SMSF assets remained relatively low iat 2.7 per cent.