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Touted $1m SMSF cap dealt a blow with new survey

SMSF, money, cash Australia dollars
Miranda Brownlee
23 August 2018 — 1 minute read

Less than one-fifth of SMSF professionals believe a starting balance of $400,000 or greater is necessary for the establishment of an SMSF, according to a recent BGL survey.

Earlier this year, the Productivity Commission said it was concerned about the high cost ratios for lower-balance SMSFs and suggested that SMSFs with less than $1 million were not competitive against retail super fund offerings.

This suggestion has already been met with substantial criticism by the SMSF Association and other prominent groups who’ve since highlighted issues with the comparability of data between public offer funds and SMSFs and the various reasons clients have for setting up SMSFs.


The BGL SMSF Insights Report, conducted by Bstar and commissioned by BGL, indicates that the over half of the professionals in the survey or 55 per cent, consider $200,000 to $400,000 to be an appropriate starting balance for an SMSF, in line with ASIC’s guidelines.

A quarter of respondents or 25 per cent consider between $100,000 to $200,000 to be an appropriate starting balance, while only 3 per cent would recommend establishing an SMSF to a client with a balance below $100,000.

Conversely, only 17 per cent believe a client should have $400,000 or more in order for an SMSF to be appropriate.

Only two respondents nominated $1 million as an effective balance minimum for the establishment of an SMSF, in line with the Productivity Commission’s views.

Miranda Brownlee

Miranda Brownlee


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.

You can email Miranda on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Touted $1m SMSF cap dealt a blow with new survey
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