Detailed statistics on the SMSF sector have been released by the ATO, indicating that the $2.3 trillion sector is keeping pace with APRA-regulated funds.
The statistics include details about the financial performance of SMSFs in 2015–16 as well as more recent data on the size of the SMSF sector.
ATO assistant commissioner Kasey Macfarlane said that in 2015–16, SMSFs saw a positive return on assets of 2.9 per cent.
“SMSFs have experienced annual positive growth for the five years to 2016 and are in line with the return on investment achieved by APRA funds of more than four members. In 2015–16, both SMSFs and APRA funds report the same return of 2.9 per cent,” Ms Macfarlane said.
In the five years to 2016–17, the number of SMSFs has grown by 26 per cent to 597,000, with total assets sitting at $697 billion, the statistics show.
“While we continue to see strong growth in average member balances overall at 26 per cent over the last five years, female members have grown their balances at a higher rate than their male counterparts, at 30 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively, over the last five years,” Ms Macfarlane said.
“We also continue to see a decrease in the median age of new members in newly established funds. In 2016, the median age was 47 years compared with 50 years in 2012.”
Further, 7 per cent of SMSFs held assets under limited recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBA), up from 6 per cent in the previous year.
Real property assets make up over 90 per cent of the total value of LRBA investments by SMSFs.
The value of LRBAs as a percentage of total SMSF assets in 2015–16 was “relatively low” at 4 per cent, the assistant commissioner said.
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