SMSF member demographics
The following data is taken from Data table, table 1, table 7, table 8, table 11 and table 12.
At 30 June 2018, there were just over 1.1 million SMSF members, of whom 53% were male and 47% female. There was a fairly even distribution of males and females across the age ranges of 69 years and under. There were a higher proportion of male members than female members for those aged 70 years and over.
SMSFs with two members continue to be the dominant structure, accounting for 70% of SMSFs at 30 June 2017. SMSFs with a single member made up 23% of funds, while those with three and four members each made up 4%.
The proportion of members receiving pension payments from an SMSF continued to trend upwards. In 2016–17, 42% of members were fully or partially in the pension phase, compared with 37% in 2012–13. Further, 6% of SMSF members receiving pension payments also reported they were in receipt of the age pension, in line with the five-year average.
In 2016–17, 37% of SMSF members also had entitlements in non-SMSF super funds, compared with 39% in 2015–16 and 41% in 2012–13, indicating a downward trend.
At 30 June 2018, 59% of all SMSFs had a corporate trustee, with 81% of newly registered SMSFs in the three years to 30 June 2018 established with a corporate trustee.
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SMSF members by age
The following data is taken from Data Tables, table 11 and table 12.
At 30 June 2018, the average and median member age was 59 years.
For SMSFs established in 2016–17, 73% of members were under 55 years old, compared with 71% of members for SMSFs established in 2012–13.
Both the average and median age of members of newly established funds over the five years to 30 June 2017 were consistently 47 to 48 years.
Graph 5 shows the proportion of SMSF members by age in the fund’s year of establishment over the five years to 30 June 2017, compared to the whole SMSF population at 30 June 2018. There is a greater proportion of SMSF members between 25 years and 54 years old in more recently established funds compared with the total SMSF population. This is particularly evident in the 35–44 year age range.
Graph 5: Proportion of SMSF members by age range, 2012–13 to 2016–17 in the year of establishment
Graph 6 shows that at 30 June 2017, 77% of SMSF members were between 35 and 69 years old, while 77% of non-SMSF members were under 55 years old.
While only 8% of non-SMSF members were over 65 years old, 34% of SMSF members were in this age range. Conversely, 4% of SMSF members and 34% of non-SMSF members were under 35 years old.
Graph 6: Age distribution of SMSF members and non-SMSF members at 30 June 2017
SMSF members by income
The following data is taken from Data tables, table 12.
The average taxable income of all SMSF members in 2016–17 was $109,000, while the median taxable income was $60,000.
Members 45–49 years old had the highest average taxable income of $141,000, while members under 25 years old had the lowest average taxable income of $53,000.
Graph 7 shows older members had higher median balances and lower median taxable incomes. The average SMSF member balance ranged from $54,000 for members under 25 years to $872,000 for those over 85 years old. This represents growth over the five years to 2016–17 of 53% and 27% respectively.
Graph 7: Average and median taxable income and balance of SMSF members by age, 2016–17
SMSF members by balance and assets
The following data is taken from Data tables, table 13, table 14 and table 15.
At 30 June 2017, the average SMSF member balance was $652,000, which was approximately 10 times the size of the average account balance of non-SMSF members of $63,000. The median SMSF member balance was $393,000.
Graph 8 shows that over the five years to 2017, the average and median member balances increased each year by 29% and 33% respectively. More recently, average and median member balances increased by 11% and 13% respectively from 2016 to 2017.
Graph 8: SMSF assets and member balances, 2012–13 to 2016–17
There was also an increase in the average balances of newly established SMSFs in each of the five years to 30 June 2017, with a significant increase of 38% from 2015–16 to 2016–17. The average member balance for members of newly established funds increased over the five years to 30 June 2017, with a substantial increase of 65% from 2015–16 to 2016–17.
Graph 9 shows the average and median member balance and assets for funds established in each of the five years to 30 June 2017, as at the end of the establishment year. The average member balance reported by funds established in 2016–17 was $324,000, an increase of 78% from funds that established in 2012–13. In contrast, the median member balance grew by 56% from 2012–13 to 2016–17 to $148,000.
In the year of establishment, 66% of members had balances between $1 and $200,000, while 7% had a $0 balance. The proportion of members with balances of $1 to $50,000 has been falling steadily from 30% in 2012–13 to 19% in 2016–17.
Over the five years to 30 June 2017, the proportion of members commencing an SMSF with a balance of $1 to $200,000 fell from 47% in 2012–13 to 40% in 2016–17.
Graph 9: SMSF assets and member balance at end of establishment year, 2012–13 to 2016–17
Over the five years to 30 June 2017, the average balance of male SMSF members exceeded that of female SMSF members by $132,000. In 2016–17, the average female member balance was $603,000 while the average male member balance was $736,000. Over the same period, the average female member balance increased by 32%, while the average male member balance increased by 25%.
Analysis of average member balances by gender and age shows a trend of higher average balances as members age for both males and females, consistent with total SMSF members. The exception was for those aged 85 years old and over.
Male SMSF members across all age ranges had higher average balances than females, except for members under 25 years old, where females had a higher average balance.
Male and female members between 35 and 44 years old had the largest difference in average member balances, with the average male balance 33% higher than the average female balance in 2014–15 and 31% higher in 2015–16. In 2016–17, the average male balance was higher than the average female balance by 30% in the 50–54 age range.
Graph 10 shows a continued shift in members towards higher balance ranges over the five years. In 2016–17, most members had balances between $100,001 and $1 million, with the highest proportion of members (24%) having balances of $200,001–$500,000.
Graph 10: SMSF member balance, 2012–13 to 2016–17