The Self-Managed Professionals’ Association of Australia (SPAA) is aiming to produce a set of regular and reliable statistics covering self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) asset allocation, investment performance and costs, in a bid to put debate about the efficiency of the sector on a more solid footing.

SPAA chief executive, Andrea Slattery, said a lot of commentary and assumptions about the cost and performance of SMSFs are misguided. She said any review of how superannuation is regulated must include SMSFs but can only be properly informed if policy decisions are based on good information.

At the SPAA 2009 National Convention in Adelaide in March, Slattery told Professional Planner that the data would “[give] the market some structure”.

“Most people do not know what the SMSF market is – they are frightened of it,” Slattery said.

“[So the research] is there for education, policymaking and having real information to talk about, rather than something that’s been invented or based on one particular matter.”

The SPAA convention also heard that trustee education and competence were critical elements of the long-term viability and security of the sector.

The Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law, Senator Nick Sherry, said the SMSF sector needs to “move forward with its thinking on the role of education of trustees”.

“I would encourage SPAA and the sector more broadly to confront this matter going forward,” Sherry said. “In the interests of your sector’s long-term future and reputation, I strongly encourage you to examine the issue closely.”  

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