News on Self Managed Super Funds

SMSFs are always in the media, usually being compared with APRA funds. But what is the real story? How do they really compare? 

SMSFs Beat APRA Funds 

Yes, the average SMSF beat the industry and retail funds in 2016/2017.

  • The average return on assets (ROA) for SMSFs was 10.2%.
  • The average rate of return for APRA funds was 9.1%

The different methods of evaluating performance (ROA Vs ROR) tend to significantly underestimate the performance of SMSFs. But no matter – they still beat the APRA funds quite convincingly. Source: ATO website

SMSF Expenses Lower

We often hear that the cost of having an SMSF is high, but the ATO shows that on a balance  of $1.5 million the average administration and operating expense is 0.49% or $7,350.

On the same balance, a ‘low cost’ fund like Australian Super would cost $9,117. Most other funds start around $12,000.

So SMSFs now only perform better, their expenses are less too.

Source: ATO website,

The Gender Super Gap

The ATO’s recently claimed that the ‘gender super gap’ is significant and that that females hold 42% of the assets, males 58%.

They give the average female balance as $605,430 and the average male as $735,843. Which is 45% female and 55% male!

Of course if they hadn’t controlled for the number of males and females then they could get different figures – but they wouldn’t make such an elementary mistake, would they?