The mega SMSFs holding millions in assets

While many are struggling with low superannuation balances, there is one self-managed super fund with more than $544 million in assets, according to data from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

A research paper from the Association of Superannuation Funds Australia (ASFA), using ATO data, found SMSFs had much larger balances than individuals.

As of 30 June, 2020, around 100,000 SMSF members had a closing balance in excess of $1.6 million while one ‘mega-SMSF’ had $544 million and 27 held more than $100 million.

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SMSFs tended to have two members, on average, but recent regulatory change had increased the maximum number of members from four to six.

Ross Clare, director of research at ASFA, said: “While individuals were limited at that date to having no more than $1.6 million in retirement phase, it is possible to have much larger balances in accumulation mode.

“Where an SMSF holds shares in a privately owned business there is a possibility of very significant growth in assets even though there are limits on the amount of concessional and non-concessional contributions that can be made.”

On the flip side, the high balances meant very few SMSF members received the Age Pension with ATO data finding just 5% of members reported receiving the Age Pension.

The most recent data for account balances, to 30 June, 2019, found the average super account balance was $162,280 for males and $146,420 for women.

For individuals aged 60 to 64 in June 2019 the male average was $359,870 with a median of $178,800 and the female average was $289,180 with a median of $137,050, creating a gender gap of 23.4%.

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