Benefit payments for self-managed superannuation fund members jumped by 71% in the March quarter, indicating a last-ditch effort to re-adjust balances head of the July 1 legislative changes to super.
SuperConcepts' survey of 2750 SMSFs shows the average benefit payment from the December quarter increased from $16,256 to $27,900. The majority of members (60%) opted for income streams rather than lump sum payments.
Interestingly, those choosing lump sum benefits increased from 20% to 40% during the quarter. This shows more trustees are implementing withdraw and re-contribution strategies to take advantage of the current non-concessional contribution caps, the report said.
From 1 July 2017, members' tax-free pension accounts cannot exceed $1.6 million, while excess amounts must be kept in accumulation phase.
These non-concessional contributions to an accumulation account will commence a 100% tax-free pension; a member can also make non-concessional contributions to a spouse to try and equalise balances.
"Some trustees also appear to be reducing their total superannuation balances and drawing monies from the superannuation system," it said.
During the period, average contributions inched 7% from $8548 to $9138.
The report also found the big four banks dominated SMSFs' largest holdings, with the Commonwealth Bank topping the list, followed by Westpac, ANZ and NAB.
Telstra, Magellan Global Fund, BHP, Platinum International Fund, Wesfarmers and CSL rounded the top ten investments, representing 15.5% of total SMSF assets.