SMSF benefit payments
Over the five years to 30 June 2012, benefit payments from SMSFs averaged $18.9 billion a year (see appendix 1, table 5). Benefit payments, like other financial trends over the period, saw a fall in 2009 most likely due to economic circumstances, but increased gradually to $22.3 billion in 2012.
Average benefit payments decreased by 30% and the median benefit payment by 24% over the period. This is the result of an increase in the number of SMSF members receiving benefit payments by 52%12. In 2012, the average benefit payment increased to $99,000 and median payment to $52,000.
In 2012, 72% of all benefit payments were in the form of a pension. This percentage has steadily increased from 64% in 2008. There was a corresponding fall in the proportion of lump sum payments over the five years.
Transition-to-retirement income streams have steadily increased from 6% of all benefit payments in 2008 to 11% in 2012. Similarly, of SMSF members in receipt of a benefit payment, the proportion reporting transition-to-retirement income streams grew to 19% in 2012.