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SMSF assets climb to $877bn during COVID


Despite the financial impacts of the pandemic, total SMSF assets still increased to $877 billion over the two years to December 2021, according to the latest ATO statistics.

By Philip King 9 minute read

The ATO’s SMSF Quarterly Statistical Report for December 2021 indicated there is now $876.7 billion in total estimated assets held by SMSFs, an increase of $128.1 billion from the $748.6 in total Australian and overseas assets in December 2019.

Based on recent statistics released by APRA, the SMSF sector represents around 25 per cent of the total $3.5 trillion in superannuation assets in December 2021.

The main asset types held by SMSFs continue to be listed shares, which account for 28 per cent of total estimated SMSF assets, and cash and term deposits, which account for 17 per cent of total assets.

Unlisted trusts saw a significant increase of 30.1 per cent, from $88.4 billion in December 2019 up to $115 billion in December 2021.

There was also a substantial rise in limited recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBAs), with total assets in LRBAs jumping from $44.9 billion at December 2019 up to $65.8 billion at the end of last year.

Both residential and non-residential property also saw large increases, with assets invested in non-residential property increasing around 39 per cent to $91.6 billion and residential property rising 36.5 per cent to $48.9 billion.

Cryptocurrency assets saw a small rise over the two years, increasing around 19 per cent from $191 million at December 2019 up to $227 million at December 2021.

The statistics also showed that in December 2021, there were a total of 601,906 SMSFs and 1,129,321 members of SMSFs. This represents around a 4.3 per cent increase in total funds in the two years to December 2021.

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Philip King

Philip King


Philip King is editor of Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, the leading sources of news, insight, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Philip joined the titles in March 2022 and brings extensive experience from a variety of roles at The Australian national broadsheet daily, most recently as motoring editor. His background also takes in spells on diverse consumer and trade magazines.

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