• SMSF benefit payments

    Over the five years to 30 June 2013, benefit payments from SMSFs averaged $20.5 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 have since increased each year to $26.4 billion in 2013. SMSF members receiving benefit payments also increased by 44%.Footnote12

    Average benefit payments per fund increased by 6%, and the median benefit payment by 5% over the period. In 2013, the average benefit payment increased to $108,000, and median payment to $54,000.

    In 2013, 82% of all benefit payments were in the form of a pension, an increase from 67% in 2009. This increase was largely due to a rise of 11% in 2013 pension payments, mainly as a result of improved data collection from the 2013 SAR, with label changes made to better capture the types of benefit payments made to SMSF members.Footnote13

    Transition-to-retirement income streams have steadily increased from 9% of all benefit payments in 2009 to 11% in 2013. Similarly, of SMSF members in receipt of a benefit payment, the proportion reporting transition-to-retirement income streams increased to 20% in 2013.

    The average benefit payment per member in 2013 was $67,000, and approximately 7% of the average member balance (see appendix 1, table 5). This has steadily increased since 2010. However, it was slightly lower than the $68,000 and 8% of average member balance in 2009.

    Over the five-year period, members in the 55–59 age range reported the lowest average benefit payment of $41,000. The highest average benefit payment of $70,000 has shifted from members aged 65–69 years in 2009 to 2011, to $75,000 for those 75 years and over from 2012.

    The majority of members receiving benefit payments were aged 60–69, with the proportion decreasing slightly over the period to 60% in 2013. Conversely, there was an increase in the proportion of members aged 70 years and over receiving benefit payments, from 21% in 2009 to 29% in 2013.

    Over the five-year period, there was a shift in the age demographic of members receiving benefit payments, with a decrease in the proportion of members 64 years and under corresponding with an increase to those 65 years and over (by 11%).

    Footnote 12

    Based on 2009–2013 SAR lodged data.

    Return to footnote 12 referrer

    Footnote 13

    A pension payment refers to payments made to members in retirement. For further information on label changes, refer to the 2013 SMSF annual return instructions available on the ATO website.

    Return to footnote 13 referrer

      Last modified: 15 Dec 2014QC 43403