The SMSF sector now accounts for over 500,000 funds, representing more than one million members and approximately one third of Australia’s $1.94 trillion in superannuation savings.

It is a central part of many wealth creation and retirement strategies, with the sector growing by approximately 29 per cent since 2010, with over 2,600 new funds being established each month.

The profile of SMSF investors has also evolved over time. While traditionally dominated by wealthy retirees, SMSFs are increasingly being set up by Generation X and Y investors with comparatively modest balances.

For example, despite 82 per cent of SMSF members being aged 45 years and older, the sector is now seeing significant growth in the 35-44 age bracket.

In addition, while males have traditionally dominated the SMSF sector, females now account for 47 per cent of all SMSF members, with strong female population growth in new fund establishments.

The relatively clean compliance record of SMSF trustees also remains strong and steady, with the Australian Taxation Office finding that 98 per cent of SMSFs were compliant in the 2013/14 financial year.

The phenomenal growth and progression of the SMSF sector in the last two decades sees it now as the largest segment of the superannuation industry, and there is no sign of it slowing down.

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