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Industry funds ‘grasping at straws’

An SMSF administrator has accused the industry super funds sector of misrepresenting the facts around fund wind-ups and trustee disillusionment.

In a statement responding to the announcement that Care Super is launching an initiative to help wind up SMSFs, Olivia Long, chief executive of Xpress Super and SuperGuardian, says the ATO figures do not reflect the picture painted by the industry fund.

“Australian Taxation Office (ATO) figures for the five years to 30 June 2013 show that, on average, for every five SMSFs established, one was wound up, with gross SMSF establishments of 34,800 a year and wind-ups of 7800 a year,” the statement from SuperGuardian said.

“This hardly presents a picture of disillusionment”, Ms Long added.

While SMSF wind-ups are occurring, Ms Long said there are other reasons behing the trend, including death of a trustee, taxation benefits for trustees no longer being relevant, and overseas relocation.

“The reality is there is no hard and fast data on why SMSFs are being wound up. What we do know, conclusively, is that far more are being established than are being closed down, and the vast majority of these new SMSF members are coming from the ranks of the APRA-regulated funds,” she said.