The total number of SMSFs has increased to historically high levels, according to newly released ATO data, which also shows net establishments at one of the highest points in the past three years.
The statistical report to the end of the September quarter 2020 revealed the total number of SMSFs had reached 591,905 with a total of 1,112,109 members, which were the highest recorded figures over the past five years of ATO data.
The number of establishments for the June to September quarter was 5607 – a figure that has been passed on a number of occasions in the past, but when combined with a low wind-up rate of only 77 for the quarter, led to net establishments of 5530, the third highest quarterly growth rate since March 2017.
Total SMSF assets dropped marginally from $706 billion in the June quarter to $698 billion in the September quarter, with the decline spread across the range of investments held within SMSFs.
Victoria led the states in establishments, accounting for 35.1 per cent of new funds, followed by NSW with 31.5 per cent and Queensland with 18.3 per cent.
More than one-third of new funds were established by people aged 35 to 44, with the ATO reporting 35.4 per cent of new funds came from this age group, followed by those aged 45 to 49 (17.8 per cent), 50 to 54 (15.2 per cent) and 55 to 59 (11 per cent).
SMSF members earning $100,000 to $150,000 were the largest group by income size to establish a new fund, with 18.9 per cent of all establishments coming from this group, followed by those earning $60,000 to $80,000 (13.8 per cent) and those earning $80,000 to $100,000 (13.5 per cent).
Annual figures released by the ATO in mid-2020 also highlighted long term growth in the SMSF sector over the past few years despite higher numbers of wind-ups during the 2017/18 period covered in the figures.