SMSF Statistics, Key Regulations and SMSF Costs

Have you just started looking to SMSF ?  SMSF Statistics Key SMSF Regulations and SMSF Costs are the first things that come to your mind when you start the journey. Getting to know how many others have already gone down this path can always provide a great level of comfort when you begin.Here are some key SMSF statistics shared by ATO in Sept 2023 that indicate the level of investment Australians have made in SMSF so far

SMSFs in Australia 610287

Members of SMSF 1130640

Estimated Value of Assets in Australian SMSFs $887.4B

Residential Property Usage

Residential SMSF property can not be lived in by the members or their related parties

SMSF Compliance

The primary legislation for SMSF is Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, frequently referred to as SIS Act.The subsidiary legislation is the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994.

SMSFs are regulated by the Australian Taxation Office


Aquiring assets from related parties not permitted

SMSF Trustees are not permitted to acquire assets from Trustees of the SMSF, their relatives or other related entities. 

Sole Purpose Test

The sole purpose test requires SMSF to be maintained for the sole purpose of providing retirement benefits to members, or to their dependants if a member dies before retirement

Members can't be paid early

Unless the member satisfies a condition of release (this is when they retire or when they reach the preservation age), SMSF trustee must not pay any preserved benefits to he member.

Lending Money to Members

SMSF trustee is prohibited from using SMSF resources to lend money, or any other financial assistance to a member of the SMSF or their relatives. All investments need to maintain an one arm distance. 

Above SMSF statistics are based on ATO report from September 2023. For further details on any of above mentioned points, please refer to

SMSF Costs - Upfront and Ongoing


There is often a lot of confusion about the SMSF costs. Below estimates should help you understand the various upfront and ongoing cost aspects


Upfront costs

  • Upfront set up costs for the SMSF structure with a corporate trustee (setup preferred by most lenders)- Between $2500 and $4000 
  • Upfront set up cost for a Bare Trust with a corporate trustee (required for each property you purchase under SMSF)- Between $1500 and $2500
  • Financial Planner Advice - Between $1500 and $2500
  • Lender cost including loan establishment fee, valuation, SMSF review (remember it is a commercial loan, so the lenders pass on the costs)- $1200-$3000
  • ATO Levy - $259
  • State Revenue Office deed stamping - $0-$500


Ongoing and Annual cost

  • Accountant - Between $1000 and $1500
  • SMSF Auditor - Between $500 and $800
  • ATO Levy - $259
  • ASIC Corporate Trustees renewal - $350
  • Electronic Service Address - $0-$55
  • Financial Planner - Between $350 and $550
  • Insurance Cost - Depending on the type of insurance you get


Note- These costs are estimates only. You should speak to one of our SMSF experts or an accountant or financial planner to get a confirmation on how they would apply in your scenario. We have the full team of partners to provide you an end to end solution, so speaking to one of our SMSF experts can be a good starting point.