Australia: SMSFs draw younger audience and more women

In the last five years, the proportion of SMSF owners has increased by 20% to 1.1 million Australians. Moreover, SMSFs now account for 29& of the $2.1 trillion superannuation pool in Australia, making SMSFs the single biggest pool of investment funds. The research by Australian Taxation Office (ATO) found the median age of new SMSFs has dropped to 48 years, compared with 55 years five years ago. Women are also seeing faster returns on their savings, with a five-year growth rate of 24 percent compared with the male average of 17 percent. However a large gap still remains between the balances of men and women. Women, on average, only have $498,000 in super compared to the male average of $633,000. However, despite a surge in popularity, figures from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) reveal SMSFs have consistently underperformed their APRA-regulated counterparts. In the year ending June 2015 SMSFs earned 2.8% less than APRA regulated funds.

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