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SMSF assets climb to $892bn

New quarterly ATO statistics estimate that the total assets of SMSFs are $892 billion, up 11% year on year.

More broadly, the total assets of SMSFs have grown by $2.4 billion over a five-year period to the March 2022 quarter.

Despite significant asset accumulation, the annual increase in total SMSF members was relatively sluggish at 3%.

There are 605,469 SMSFs and 1.14 million members of SMSFs.

The top asset types held by SMSFs by value were listed shares (28%), cash and term deposits (17%).

On average members were 53% male and 47% female and 86% of SMSF members are 45 years or older.

With respect to SMSF members income ranges, approximately 53% of incomes fell into the $0 - $60,000 range, 30% between $60,000 - $150,000 and 16% from $150,000 upwards. The remaining data was labelled as unknown.

Of the SMSFs established in the March quarter, 32% had incomes between $0 - $60,000, 46% in the range of $60,000 to 150,000 and 20% above $150,000. The remaining data was labelled as unknown.

A quarterly SuperConcepts investment survey has also found that compared to APRA regulated funds, SMSFs have higher levels of cash and liquid assets. SuperConcepts attributes this to a higher proportion of SMSF members being in the pension phase.

The survey report said: "The current environment has left SMSF trustees with very few options in terms of investment choices for immediate liquidity."

"Due to current interest rate settings, short-term term deposits are very unattractive and not heavily used. There's been some use of other pool structures to try and achieve higher rates of return, but this is also limited resulting in most liquidity being managed through cash at bank."

According to SuperConcepts, Australian equities continue to have the lion's share of the SMSF investment pool at 40%.

SuperConcpts pointed out that while pooled arrangements were modest in terms of Australian equity exposure, between managed funds and ETFs almost 75% of international equities exposure was via pooled structures.

Read more: SMSFSuperConceptsATO