Super uncertainty sees contributions slashed
Government statements and commentary regarding potential changes to superannuation has damaged confidence in the system with contributions down by half for the March quarter, according to research from Multiport.
The Multiport SMSF Investment Patterns Survey shows the average contribution inflow per fund dropped from $13,715 to $6,120 for the quarter ending 31 March 2015.
Multiport’s report on the survey said the lower average contribution level could “indicate caution in response to possible changes around superannuation in the 2015 Budget”.
Speaking to SMSF Adviser, AMP SMSF administration head of technical services Philip La Greca said the drop in average contribution inflows is somewhat unexpected given that the caps themselves have risen from $25,000 to $30,000 and for some people to $35,000.
“What we put this down to is [SMSF trustees] seeing all the commentary about changes to super and therefore not putting in as much voluntary savings because of the uncertainty,” said Mr La Greca.
“It’s damaged their confidence in the superannuation system; [SMSF trustees] have seen people talking about the tax concessions or changing the accessibility or things like that and have pulled back putting in the voluntary amount.”
Mr La Greca said the impact of commentary on behaviour is most obvious within the SMSF sector as voluntary contributions are more common compared with the industry or retail fund space.
He said it will be interesting to see the results of the June quarter given that the 2015 Budget had a limited impact on the SMSF sector.
The survey also showed that SMSF trustees have increased their allocation to international shares with the average SMSF holding in international shares up 1.9 percentage points to 14.4 per cent.
The flow of funds into international shares saw the allocation to Australian equities drop to a year-low of 38.6 per cent, down from 41.6 per cent the previous quarter.
“SMSF trustees are looking for new growth opportunities for investment, with an increasing focus on international markets,” he said.
“Due to the complexity of investing overseas directly, managed funds continue to be the preferred vehicle to invest overseas with 88.2 per cent of trustees investing in pooled structures.”
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.