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SMSF contribution levels almost triple in response to super changes becoming law


SMSF trustees looking to make the most of the current rules have significantly increased contributions, according to the latest SuperConcepts SMSF Investment Patterns Survey.



In the December 2016 quarter contribution levels almost tripled, increasing by 181 per cent from $3,040 in the September quarter to $8,550. 

The rise in contributions follows the Government’s confirmation that the proposed Super changes will come into effect on July 1 2017. 

SuperConcepts Executive Manager Technical & Strategic Solutions Phil La Greca said the findings were not surprising and he anticipated contribution levels would continue to increase during the next two quarters due to the brief window of time to make large non-concessional contributions until 30 June 2017. 

“The current non-concessional amounts apply for the remainder of this financial year and investors are taking advantage of the limited time available to them. We expect a continued uplift in the level of nonconcessional contributions in the lead up to July 1,” said Mr La Greca.  

The current $180,000 after-tax contributions cap, and the three year $540,000 bring-forward rule remain until 30 June 2017. 

Cash levels were also up in Q4 (from 18.1 per cent in the September quarter to 18.4 per cent in the December quarter).  

Mr La Greca said it was likely the increased cash levels were related to the higher contribution levels being received. 

The trend to invest through the use of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) continued to grow, with ETFs representing four per cent of all assets during the December quarter. ETFs were mostly used in the International Equity Sector, which represented 16.7 per cent of all international equity holdings. 

The trend to use a limited recourse borrowing arrangement for property continued. The overall allocation to property loans increased to 81 per cent in the December quarter, up from 75 per cent the previous quarter. Meanwhile the number of financial asset loans decreased from 25 per cent to 19 per cent. 

“The ATO’s safe harbour guidelines on related party loans explains the continued drop in the number of financial asset loans,” said Mr La Greca.  

The quarterly SuperConcepts SMSF Investment Patterns Survey covers approximately 2,800 funds, a sample of SMSFs administered by Multiport (part of the SuperConcepts group) and the investments they held at 31 December 2016. The assets of the funds surveyed represent approximately $3.2 billion.
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