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Latest ATO statistics show more young women establishing SMSFs

By Keeli Cambourne
May 23 2023
1 minute read
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More younger women established an SMSF in the March quarter of this year than men, highlighting the trend that SMSFs are now becoming a much more popular option for women looking to prepare for retirement.

In the latest ATO statistics on SMSF, the highest proportion of new SMSF were established by women in the 35–44-year age bracket (34.9 per cent) compared to men in the same age range (32.9 per cent). The next largest group of establishment SMSFs was men in the 44–49 years demographic at 17.7 per cent, and women in the same age bracket at 16.6 per cent.

These latest statistics follow on from December 2022 figures that show 43.2 per cent of all establishments in that quarter were by members below the age of 45. This age group now accounts for a greater proportion of establishments compared to a decade ago when establishments for under 45s were at 34.1 per cent.


The trend of women taking up SMSF has been slowly increasing for the past few years with last year’s statistics from AUSIEX showing new advised SMSF accounts in 2022 with a female primary account holder increased year-on-year from 23.07 per cent of all new advised SMSFs to 26.3 per cent; a greater percentage increase than that for self-directed SMSFs (23.57 per cent to 24.72 per cent in 2022).

Overall the March 2023 statistics remained relatively steady and although there were less SMSF establishments compared to the previous quarter in December 2022, there were also a significantly lower number of wind-ups.

For the March 2023 quarter the ATO recorded 5732 SMSF establishments compared to 6,514 in December. Wind-ups in March were significantly lower at 213 compared to 654 in December 2022 and a massive 1,619 in the March quarter of 2022.

In total at the end of March 2023 there were 606,217 SMSFs in Australia, up from 600,698 in December 2022 and 591,290 in March 2022.

In regard to members, the majority of SMSFs were still two-member funds and total members had increased from 1,107,586 in March 2022 to 1,136,234 in March 2023.

In total, SMSFs in the March quarter held $889,539 million in assets.

Of those assets, there was a spike in the value of overseas shares which jumped from $16,122 million this quarter up from $15,660 million in the previous quarter.

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