Bill's Media Releases

Government reforms improve understanding of SMSFs

Over 913,000 members of self managed super funds and their advisers will benefit from the publication of the Australia Tax Office’s (ATO) 2010 –11 statistical report on the self managed super funds (SMSFs).

Around 26,000 new self managed super funds have been established each year since 2008.

“The SMSF sector holds almost $440 billion assets yet there is far more data available on APRA-regulated funds. I’m pleased the Government has acted to address this information gap,” Mr Shorten said.

The Government’s superannuation review recommended that better data be collected and published on SMSFs. The Government responded by providing the ATO with the resources to publish regular reports on SMSFs.

Key findings of the ATO’s 2010-11 annual report include (as at 30 June 2011):

  • Contributions to the SMSF sector averaged $26.5 billion a year over the four years to 2011, with member contributions exceeding employer contributions approximately two to one.

  •  The major asset holdings continue to be in cash and term deposits and Australian listed shares (a total of 60 per cent).

  •  Smaller SMSFs continue to favour cash and term deposits.

  •  The average SMSF member balance is $506,000.

  •  The estimated operating expense ratio for SMSFs continued to decline in 2010-11, from 0.65 per cent  in 2008 to 0.54 per cent  in 2011.

  • 64 per cent of SMSFs are solely in the accumulation phase, however, there is a clear shift for more recently established SMSFs to commence pension payments sooner.


“The Gillard Government has also undertaken a number of key measures to improve the integrity and increase community confidence in this sector.”

In November 2012, legislation passed the parliament establishing a SMSF Auditor Registration Regime, which will require all auditors to register with ASIC and

meet initial and ongoing requirements relating to their qualifications, competency and independence.

Additional measures to protect the integrity of the SMSF sector were also introduced into Parliament late November, including:

  • measures to give the ATO effective, flexible and proportionate powers to address wrongdoing and non-compliance by SMSF trustees; and

  • capturing roll-overs to SMSFs as a designated service under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act) to ensure superannuation benefits are not being used for illicit purposes.


“This report is part of the Government’s commitment to inform the community about the performance of the SMSF sector,” Mr Shorten said.

“Superannuation provides income for working Australians in their retirement, helping them to retire in comfort and with dignity.”

The report is available here http://www.ato.gov.au/superfunds/content.aspx?doc=/content/00341497.htm&pc=001/149/030/004/002&mnu=49150&mfp=001/149&st=&cy=

Minister Shorten media Contact: Jessica Lindell 0408 642 804