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The worrying stats about women and self-managed super

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Women trustees of self-managed super funds (SMSFs) aren't as confident about running their own fund as men, according to a new study by Galaxy Research. It found that 83% of men are confident compared to 62% of women.

While 47% of all SMSF trustees are women, men typically initiate the setting up of a SMSF with 77% of men compared to 30% of women starting the SMSF, according to the study for the SMSF Association and Commonwealth Bank.

Fifty five per cent of women say the SMSF was set up by their partner with 18% saying someone else set it up. Some 68% of men say they are the sole decision maker compared to 28% of women.

women super self-managed super smsf

However Andrea Slattery, the CEO of the SMSF Association, says Generation Y women aged 18 to 34 are more likely to initiate a fund and choose the investments.

One in five Gen X SMSF trustees say they set up their self-managed super fund because they wanted to use their super to invest in property. Also a higher proportion of Gen Y and Gen X than other generations say they set up their SMSF to gain access to borrowing via super.

This is borne out when it comes to seeking out advice from a financial planner when setting up a SMSF with Gen Y least likely with 11% using a planner compared to 25% of Gen X (35 to 49), 27% of baby boomers (50 to 64) and 29% of traditionalists (+65).

It also found that 4 in 10 SMSF trustees have had a life event that has hampered the management of their super such as divorce or separation, losing a job, death of a co-trustee since starting their own superannuation fund.

The research found that 16% of SMSF trustees did not have their expectations met or exceeded when they set up their SMSF.

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Susan has been a finance journalist for more than 30 years, beginning at the Australian Financial Review before moving to the Sydney Morning Herald. She edited a superannuation magazine, Superfunds, for the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, and writes regularly on superannuation and managed funds. She's also author of the best-selling book Women and Money.
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August 18, 2016 10.52am

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