A million members as SMSFs surge ahead

My Super FundThe Australian, 6 June 2014
By Andrew Main

THE number of trustees of self-managed superannuation funds in Australia has passed the million mark, as a form of super that barely existed 10 years ago continues to surge.

The latest tax office data shows a 32 per cent increase in trustees of SMSFs, which now number more than 528,000 and have a combined value of $558 billion, about a third of the entire superannuation pie.

The combined value of SMSFs has jumped 78 per cent from $328m in 2009.

The numbers show that while borrowing inside SMSFs has grown very strongly since it was first permitted in 2007, there is more than three times as much SMSF money in commercial real estate as residential.

Residential real estate in SMSFs has climbed in value since 2009 by 78 per cent from $11.5bn to $20.5bn, but that represents just over 3.5 per cent of all SMSF investments. Non-residential real estate has jumped in value by 90 per cent to more than $68bn, or 12 per cent of all SMSF assets.

The value of all limited recourse borrowing arrangements, through which borrowing must be done, has quintupled from $497m to $2.78bn.

The ATO’s SMSF numbers follow closely on a release from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority which shows that conventional superannuation funds are also enjoying a sharp lift in contributions because of an increase in confidence. APRA regulates all superannuation except SMSFs, which are overseen by the ATO.

Australia’s combined superannuation pool is now worth $1.84 trillion.

Contributions to APRA-regulated funds for the March 2014 quarter were $22.7bn and total contributions for the year to March 31 were $93.5bn, an increase of 5.8 per cent on the $87.7 billion put away in the year to March 31, 2013.

Financial Services Council chief economist James Bond said: “The good growth over the last three quarters reverses the poor contributions outcome for 2012-13 which was driven by concerns about the eurozone and US fiscal position, and also speculation in Australia about changes to superannuation taxation.’

Original article here 

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