SMSF Association senior manager of technical and policy Jordan George said the decline in the rate of establishments could be the result of regulatory uncertainty.
“I think people may have been waiting for the Financial System Inquiry Report to be handed down and the government’s response to the issues within that,” said Mr George.
“We’ve also seen a lot of debate over the past couple of months around the value and use of superannuation tax concessions, so these kinds of issues can provide uncertainty.”
The statistics also showed a 6.64 per cent or $36.8 billion increase in total net Australian and overseas SMSF assets during the 12 months to the end of December 2014.
Assets held in limited recourse borrowing arrangements increased slightly by $418,000 or 4.7 per cent.
Mr George said the statistics also showed an uptake of SMSFs by younger demographics.
“In the December establishment statistics, the 45-54 age group had the highest rate of establishment at 32.5 per cent, this was closely followed by the 35 to 44 age group at 29 per cent,” he said.
“It shows that people are starting to establish a SMSF earlier in life, as opposed to the trend of a few years ago where we saw people mainly establishing a SMSF once they were past 50 and had an established base of superannuation.”
This indicates he said that people are using their SMSF as their accumulation vehicle not just a retirement vehicle.
“I think that’s very positive going forward,” he said.