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Self-Managed Super Funds: Why are they popular and do they fulfil a useful purpose?

Project Member(s): Yeung, D.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Department of the Treasury (Centre of Excellence for International Finance and Regulation Consortium)

Start year: 2013

Summary: Self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) currently manage about one third of total superannuation assets (approximately $500B.). Further, the growth in SMSFs in recent years has been exceptional. SMSFs are important at the microeconomic level, because of their impact on the retirement income of the members. SMSFs are important at the macroeconomic level through the impost that insufficient retirement savings places on taxpayers, and through their influence on economic growth. Although many individual actions in Australian retirement savings are mandatory, the decision to establish a SMSFs is voluntary, complicated and costly. Little is known about the attitudes, motivations and experiences of those who establish SMSFs. Further, little is known about how SMSFs are structured and managed. We plan a series of surveys of both SMSFs members and their advisors to provide insights into these issues. This research will inform debate on retirement savings policies.


Bird, R, Foster, FD, Gray, J, Raftery, AM, Thorp, S & Yeung, D 2018, 'Who starts a self-managed superannuation fund and why?', Australian Journal of Management, vol. 43, no. 3, pp. 373-403.
View/Download from: Publisher's site

Keywords: Superannuation; behavioural finance; consumer finance

FOR Codes: Financial Economics, Savings and Investments, Banking, Finance and Investment not elsewhere classified