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Aussie love affair with SMSFs continues

By Madeleine Collins
2 minute read

New data confirms what advisers are experiencing.

The popularity of do-it-yourself super shows no sign of waning, with latest figures showing almost 7000 self-managed super funds (SMSF) have been established this year.

March quarter data from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) shows 6823 new SMSFs were established between December 2006 and March 2007.

This is a nine per cent increase on the last quarter and a 43 per cent rise on those established between December and March 2006.

According to the ATO there were 33,059 new funds started between March 2006 and March 2007.

Australians now have $246 billion in self-managed super. They are the fastest growing sector of the industry behind industry funds and make up 99.8 per cent of the market.

"The Government's reforms are being noticed in the marketplace - people are more conscious of super," SMSF Professionals Association chief executive Andrea Slattery said.

"[SMSF establishments have] been averaging 2000 a month per annum and we're expecting there to be a little bit more interest this year. Our members are confirming they are very busy."

Over 60 per cent of SMSF members are baby-boomers aged between 45 and 64.

Almost 80 per cent have an income of less than $80,000 but average assets per fund is $666,150.

The ATO data said cash, equities and property are still by far the most popular asset classes for SMSF investors, although allocations to all three fell slightly in the current quarter.

The ATO has tripled its surveillance staff for SMSFs to almost 500 in light of the swelling number of funds.