A Statistical Summary of Self-Managed Superannuation Funds



During the course of its work, the Super System Review became aware that there is a lack of comprehensive information on the self‑managed superannuation fund sector which could inhibit the value of submissions to the Review on SMSF-related issues.

The aim of this publication is to provide a broad factual overview of the SMSF sector with a view to informing submissions relating to SMSFs in response to the Phase Three: Structure (including SMSFs) issues paper to be released shortly.  It does not contain any questions or recommendations and is intended to be solely a statistical summary.

The publication is largely based on published statistical data and other unpublished data provided by the Australian Taxation Office, which is currently the largest data collection agency for SMSFs.  The statistics used in this report are principally based on 30 June 2008 data, derived from the most recent year of SMSF lodgment.  For comparisons with the non‑SMSF sectors, we also use data published by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.  A small number of SMSF administrators also provided sample data representing between 0.03 to 3.41 per cent of the SMSF population.  The general trends evidenced in these smaller datasets are broadly consistent with the ATO data.

Direct comparisons between SMSF and non‑SMSF sectors need to be qualified due to differences in the way the data are collected by the ATO and APRA.  However, we believe that this publication will provide useful statistical information, contributing to a better understanding of the SMSF sector and its role in Australian superannuation.

The Review has not yet formed a view on the questions raised in the Phase Two: Operation and Efficiency issues paper about what data should be collected and published (see section 8 of the issues paper dated 16 October 2009).  However, it is hoped that this publication will stimulate an interest in better quality SMSF information. 

While this publication aims to be factual only, any observations and views that are expressed are solely those of the Review and not those of the data agencies.