Note: We regularly update this article with the latest data on superannuation funds issued by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). This article contains the latest statistics available, as of September 2017 (for data as at June 2017).
Close to 600,000 self-managed super funds (SMSFs) are now in operation, managing $696.7 billion in assets as at 30 June 2017, according to the latest statistics released by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). APRA is the prudential regulator of all super funds, with the exception of SMSFs, which are regulated by the ATO.
The exact number of SMSFs (as at June 2017) is 596,516, and thousands of new SMSFs are being established every quarter.
The average balance of a SMSF now exceeds $1.1 million, with the ‘average’ fund balance now around $1.17 million ($1,167,949 on June 2017 figures), and the average account balance for a SMSF member is roughly $616,000 (based on June 2017 figures of $696.7 billion in SMSF assets and dividing this amount by the estimated 1.13 million members). Note that these figures are an average calculated by dividing the total assets held by SMSFs by the number of SMSFs, and by the number of SMSF members, respectively. In reality, based on latest ATO data, as at July 2016, just under half (42.8%) of all SMSFs have less than $500,000 in assets (for more details on fund balances see SuperGuide article Do you fit the latest profile of a ‘typical’ SMSF trustee?).
Individuals running SMSFs control nearly a third (29.6% or $696.7 billion) of the $2.3 trillion or so invested via Australian superannuation funds. In 1998, DIY super funds (that is, SMSFs) represented one-tenth (10%) of all superannuation money, and in 2004, SMSFs represented 20% of all super fund assets.
Note: When comparing the value of super assets held by the 4 types of large funds (industry funds, retail funds, public sector funds and corporate funds), which totals $1,442.2 billion, against the value of super assets held by SMSFs ($696.7 billion), then the market share of SMSFs jumps to 32.6%. The 4 types of large funds (214 super funds) and SMSFs hold a combined $2,138.9 billion in assets. The remaining $185.5 billion in super assets is held in small APRA funds ($1.9 billion), exempt schemes ($128.3 billion) and balance of life office statutory funds ($55.3 billion).
SMSFs lead in market share
SMSFs remain the market-leading super sector compared with the market share of the 4 types of large super funds (industry funds, retail funds, public sector funds and corporate funds). The 32.6% ($696.7 billion) of super money held in SMSFs, from the combined total of $2,138.9 billion held by 214 large super funds and SMSFs, exceeds the super money invested via retail funds (27.5%), industry funds (25.5%), public sector funds (11.7%) and corporate super funds (2.7%) according to figures released by APRA in August 2017, and representing fund assets as at 30 June 2017.
I explain the five main super fund sectors in the SuperGuide article, Comparing super funds: Who’s who in the super zoo. This article is updated periodically with the latest statistics on the types of funds and how many super funds of each type are available.
Increase in value of assets for 12 months to 30 June 2017
According to APRA statistics, over the entire superannuation sector, total fund asset values increased by 10.0% during the 12 months to June 2017, starting at $2,112.9 billion (at 30 June 2017) and growing to $2,324.4 billion (also known as $2.324 trillion) by 30 June 2017 (including exempt schemes and balance of life office statutory funds).
Total assets in MySuper products was $594.7 billion as at 30 June 2017, which was an 25.5% increase in total assets in MySuper funds over the 12 months, compared with $473.8 billion as at June 2016 (for more information on MySuper funds see SuperGuide article MySuper: Now at a super fund near you).
For more interesting statistics on SMSFs…
For more interesting statistics about SMSF membership, growth, compliance, asset allocation and investment performance, see the following SuperGuide articles: