Around 30,000 new funds were set up in 2016-17.

The number of new self-managed super funds being set up continued to rise over the last financial year, despite the widespread negative publicity around the Federal Government’s latest superannuation changes.

Data released by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority on Tuesday showed close to 30,000 new SMSFs were established in 2016-17, bringing the total number to 596,516 at June 30.

Meanwhile, the total assets held within SMSFs rose by almost 10 per cent to $696.7 billion from $634.7 billion the year before.

The APRA data shows total superannuation assets including SMSFs, industry and retail funds reached $2.3 trillion at the end of the June 2017 quarter. Over the 12 months from June 2016 there was a 10 per cent increase in total superannuation assets.

There were $40.8 billion of contributions in the June 2017 quarter, up 33.4 per cent from the June 2016 quarter ($30.6 billion). Total contributions for the year ending June 2017 were $116.9 billion.

There were $22.3 billion in total benefit payments in the June 2017 quarter, an increase of 22.5 per cent from the June 2016 quarter ($18.2 billion). Total benefit payments for the year ending June 2017 were $74.5 billion.

As at the end of the June 2017 quarter, 49.8 per cent of the $1.5 trillion investments were invested in equities; with 22.8 per cent in Australian listed equities ($351 billion), 22.9 per cent in international listed equities ($353 billion) and 4.0 per cent in unlisted equities.

Fixed income and cash investments accounted for 33.3 per cent of investments; 20.9 per cent in fixed income and 12.4 per cent in cash. Property and infrastructure accounted for 13.3 per cent of investments and 3.7 per cent were invested in other assets, including hedge funds and commodities.

Tony Kaye is the Editor of Eureka Report and has spent more than 30 years working as a financial editor, journalist and commentator. He has previously held senior roles on The Australian Financial Review, The Australian, The Age and The Sun, and has edited business magazines. He was also a former senior manager in Australia/New Zealand for international ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s, and has provided media communications support to a range of Australian companies.

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