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Growth in numbers of SMSFs

Last updated 15 December 2015

Between the years ended 30 June 2011 and 30 June 2015, the number of SMSFs grew from 440,000 to 557,000 (see appendix 1, table 1). This represents a growth of 27% and reflects community confidence in the SMSF sector over the five-year period.

Graph 2 shows an average of 6% growth annually in SMSF numbers over the five years. A peak of almost 8% occurred in 2012, and after a trough to below 5% in 2014 growth in SMSF numbers returned to the five-year average of 6% in 2015.

Graph 2: Growth in the number of SMSFs 2011 to 2015

Growth in the number of SMSFs 2011 to 2015

Over this period, establishment of new funds averaged almost 36,000 a year (or approximately 3000 a month) while wind-ups averaged almost 7,400 a year.5

Despite the continued establishment of new SMSFs, the median fund has existed for eight years. The largest proportion of SMSFs have existed for more than 10 years (44%), while 18% have existed for three years or less (see appendix 1, table 2).

Of SMSFs established in the last 10 years to 2014, 90% are still in existence. While, on average, 1.7% 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.6

5 Average wind-up figures include understated figures for the year ended 30 June 2015 due to the time lag between when wind ups occur and when the ATO receives notification from the SMSF.
6 Based on SMSF income tax and annual regulatory return lodged data over 10 years.