Growth in numbers of SMSFs

Between the years ended 30 June 2010 and 30 June 2014, the number of SMSFs grew from 414,000 to over 534,000 (see appendix 1, table 1). This represents a growth of 29% and reflects community confidence in the economy and the adaptability of the SMSF sector over the five-year period.

Graph 2 shows an average of 6% growth annually in SMSF numbers over the five years. In 2010 there was a trough in growth, affected by economic conditions combined with our system improvements and data-cleansing activitiesFootnote6. After an increase to almost 8% in 2012, growth in 2013 and 2014 returned to the five-year average.

Graph 2: Growth in the number of SMSFs 2010 to 2014

 Growth in numbers of SMSFs

Over this period, net establishment of new funds (establishments less wind-ups) averaged almost 27,000 a year (or approximately 2,200 a month) while wind-ups averaged almost 8,295 a year.Footnote7

Despite the continued establishment of new SMSFs, the median age of all SMSFs is nine years. The largest proportion of SMSF funds have existed for more than 10 years (47%), while 20% have existed for three years or less (see appendix 1, table 2).

Analysis shows that 90% of funds established in the 10 years to 2013 still exist. While, on average, 1.6% of SMSFs wind up in their year of establishment, the least proportion of wind-ups occur for funds in their second year of operation, and the rate increases marginally in the subsequent years of operation. Footnote8

Footnote 6

ATO system changes and data-cleansing activity resulted in an increase in the number of funds that were recorded as wound up in the June 2010 year.

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Footnote 7

Average wind-up figures include understated figures for the year ended 30 June 2014 due to the time lag between when wind ups occur and when the ATO receives notification from the SMSF.

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Footnote 8

Based on SMSF income tax and annual regulatory return lodged data over 10 years.

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    Last modified: 15 Dec 2014QC 43403