Since 2012, inflows from SMSFs to Australian Super have quadrupled, according to head of proposition and product at Australian Super, Andrew Baker.
“There was a one-way traffic story [until] 2012. Since then it’s very much a two-way traffic story,” Mr Baker said.
Australian Super is now conducting research into the reasons behind this trend. Preliminary research has found there is a “very dissatisfied segment who were sold the dream” with an inadequate balance for their aspirations.
“The member essentially went nowhere and accumulated a huge amount of fees and angst in the process,” Mr Baker said.
Notably, the members who are making the switch back to the APRA-regulated fund are not necessarily in wind-down phase.
“My hypothesis has been that people would never come back from an SMSF, and if they did it would be when they were 80 with dementia,” Mr Baker said.
“The remarkable aspect of the data is that’s just proving not to be true. We are getting quite a substantial increase in return traffic. It’s people who are in their 40s and 50s and who are very dissatisfied with the experience,” he said.
“I’m not saying the majority of the people are dissatisfied or anything like that; it’s just that is a visible segment now.”
The experience of Australian Super, however, appears to run counter to previous research and anecdotal evidence of trends in the superannuation industry, with retail super funds in particular feeling the effect of outflows to SMSFs.