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Productivity Commission report to include SMSFs

Productivity Commission report to include SMSFs

Paper
Adrian Flores
11 August 2016

A Productivity Commission draft report will include SMSFs as part of an overall assessment of the competition and efficiency of the superannuation system.

The report says SMSFs should be factored in when properly assessing the super system, noting that despite significant heterogeneity within the sector, some key SMSF trends will provide relevant context for examining efficiency and competitiveness.

It outlines how SMSFs are different to other types of funds, trends evident in the sector, the evidence base, the implications for the commission’s assessment framework and where the commission’s evidence base for SMSFs could be improved.

SuperConcepts general manager for technical services, Peter Burgess, said that while there was initially some debate about whether SMSFs should be included in the assessment, a decision was made to include them given they represent around 30 per cent of total super assets.

Mr Burgess said it is encouraging to see the draft report acknowledge that fees and costs are only one part of the story as to why an SMSF may or may not be right for an investor.

“We note the report refers to a standard average expense ratio for SMSFs and that this expense ratio has been calculated using average SMSF operating expenses,” he said.

“While we accept this is probably the simplest approach, SMSF operating expenses typically include fund establishment costs and other non-deductible expenses so it’s likely to overstate the true running costs of an SMSF.”

The commission is accepting submissions on the draft report until 9 September and is expected to hand down its final report in November.

Productivity Commission report to include SMSFs
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