Lack of knowledge key barrier to SMSF take-up

The barrier most commonly cited by APRA fund members to setting up a self-managed super fund is lack of knowledge, new research has found.

Conducted by CoreData on behalf of Nabtrade and the SMSF Association (SMSFA), the research – which was compiled from a survey of 468 SMSF trustees and 532 APRA fund members – found that despite the popularity and awareness of SMSFs, barriers remain that prevent APRA fund members from moving to a self-managed fund.

Thirty-eight per cent said not knowing enough about SMSFs was the key barrier that prevented them from making the move from their APRA-regulated fund.

This compared with the 32.3 per cent who said the main barrier was the size of the fund balance not justifying the take-up of an SMSF, while 30.6 per cent said it was "too much hassle".

Despite these barriers, 18.6 per cent of non-trustees said they would consider establishing an SMSF if an accountant or financial planner could assist them in better understanding it.

"This suggests growth in the sector could be greater if [professional advisers] play an educational role by identifying and addressing barriers that hold some non-trustees back from setting up an SMSF," the CoreData report said.

Speaking in Sydney yesterday, Nabtrade's head of SMSF solutions, Gemma Dale, said there is high-quality information available.

"My thought behind it is if you feel there is not enough information out there, you are not trying very hard and you are not sufficiently interested in having an SMSF," she said.

CoreData director Andrew Inwood said it is not solely a matter of accessing information, however, but knowing where to turn to get help to understand it.

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