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ATO Reports On Self Managed Super Funds

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

25 December 2012

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released a major new statistical report on self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs), a paper ministers say addresses a key information gap. The report was released as part of a government initiative to collect and publish better data on SMSFs and covers the period down to 2010-11.

The ATO found that approximately 26,000 new SMSFs have been established each year since 2008, with almost AUD440bn in assets held in the sector. Contributions averaged AUD26.5bn 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 - which smaller SMSFs were seen to favour - and Australian listed shares. The average SMSF member balance was found to be AUD506,000, and more recently established SMSFs tended to commence pension payments sooner. The estimated operating expense ratio for SMSFs declined, from 0.65% in 2008 to 0.54% in 2011.

Recent legislation passed by parliament will result in the creation of a SMSF Auditor Registration Regime, under which all auditors will be required to register with ASIC and meet initial and ongoing requirements relating to their qualifications, competency and independence.

Further reforms introduced last month will give the ATO effective, flexible and proportionate powers to address wrongdoing and non-compliance by SMSF trustees. Roll-overs to SMSFs will also be captured 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.


TAGS: compliance | tax | business | pensions | employees | retirement | audit | Australia | tax authority | legislation | revenue statistics

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