SPAA refutes 'spurious' SMSF data claims
Allegations that SMSFs do not provide the same level of asset allocation information as larger APRA-regulated funds are false, according to the SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia (SPAA).
The response came after a submission to the Financial System Inquiry (FSI) claimed there was a lack of information about asset holdings of SMSFs and this made it difficult to assess the extent of any risk in the system.
SPAA chief executive Andrea Slattery called the allegations “spurious”, characterising them as “so far removed from reality”.
“Look at the annual returns required to be completed by SMSFs and APRA-regulated funds and it’s easy to see which sector provides the greatest level of detail. It’s all there in the ATO files, SMSF by SMSF,” she said.
“ATO reports on SMSFs not only disclose the number of new funds, details about members, their ages and how much they are earning, but also disclose information about the fund’s investments split into 19 investment categories,” she added.
Ms Slattery said that by contrast, APRA-regulated funds report under the cover of “broad aggregates” that reveal nothing specific about their asset allocation.
“Changes to reporting of investment allocations by APRA were highlighted in the last APRA quarterly report showing they aggregate all fund assets, as well as the number of entities with more than four members,” Ms Slattery said.
“The fact is there has been huge resistance by the APRA-regulated funds, even after the current superannuation system has been operating for more than two decades, to disclose their investments.
“This is something they will need to do, to some degree, in the future, but still not to the same extent as SMSFs,” she added.
As reported by SMSF Adviser last week, the Association of Superannuation Funds Australia (ASFA) expressed concern regarding the lack of information about the asset holdings of SMSFs compared with other super funds in its submission to the FSI.
"While data collection across APRA-regulated funds has increased considerably, the ATO is not at this time able to provide the same level of information on SMSFs,” ASFA said.
"Without this data, it is difficult to assess the extent of any of the risks emerging in the system.”