SMSFs appear to be gaining more traction with younger people with the latest data from the ATO showing 43% of new SMSFs are established by members younger than 45, whilst 25% of new funds are set up by members older than 55 as they approach retirement.
People aged 24-35 represented 11.8% of new fund establishments, but only 3.4% of the total SMSF segment.
SMSFs are also very popular among those aged 35-44. This cohort represents 30.2% of new establishments but only 11.3% of the overall market.
People in the 55-64 age bracket make up the largest proportion of SMSFs at 29.8% of total members. This group, however, only accounted for 20.4% of new establishments.
Women make up 46% of members of newly established funds. They are, on average, generally slightly younger than males in funds, the December quarterly data shows.
On a rolling 12 month basis, net new establishments peaked in December 2012 at just under 45,000 and have been gradually falling since. The most recent figures, however, show that this decline may have been arrested with rolling 12 month new establishment numbers holding steady at just under 35,000 for the last five quarters.
At the latest count there are 566,735 SMSFs representing 1,075,267 members.
On its website the ATO clarifies that wind-ups include both those initiated by trustees and those as a result of ATO compliance and cleansing activity.
Quarterly establishments and wind-ups for recent quarters may be understated, because there is often a time lag between when this event occurs and when we receive notification from the SMSF.