Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are taking advantages of record-low bank debt to grow their businesses through self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs), according to RSM Australia.
The accounting and advisory firm's 2016 thinkBIG survey found there was a 25 per cent jump in the uptake of bank debt and may be attributed to an increasing number of SMEs buying their own premises.
RSM Australia's national head of business advisory, Andrew Graham, said SMEs were favouring buying office spaces, in the name of their SMSF, and leasing back to their business as the opportunity of owner-occupying was cheaper than leasing.
"What's driving SME appetite for office space are both historically low interest rates where money is cheap, and reduced concessional superannuation caps as more people attempt to shift funds into the lower taxing superannuation environment," Graham said.
Graham added that the prospect of higher rental yields and stronger capitals gains also made offices a more affordable alternative to declining residential property markets within most Australian capital cities, with provisions governing SMSFs helping to facilitate this outcome.
The survey said 40 per cent (up five per cent from the previous year) of surveyed SMEs were open to potentially using super for their business.
Graham said a third of SMEs ranked their satisfaction with super provisions highly.
"It could indicate growing realisation among business owners that superannuation is an effective way to either fund growth or purchase business premises with minimum risk," Graham said.
"It's important that SME owners — 38 per cent of whom state they'll need over $100,000 annually retirement — make the most of their superannuation options."
Graham noted that he expected more proceeds from business sales to find its way into superannuation.
However, the Federal Budget's proposal to limit after-tax contributions to $500,000 could mean some SMEs will not be able to contribute as much into super as they'd like.
Graham said some individuals could be able to receive a double tax deduction for contributions to their SMSF during the month of June if they adopt a "reserving strategy".