New ATO survey of SMSF trustees

With over 1 million Australians having made the decision to take control over their superannuation and set up an SMSF, the Australian Government has recognised the need to find out more about this population. To better understand what motivates and influences SMSF trustees, the Government has embarked on a new survey, using information from the ATO to randomly select existing SMSF trustees to participate.

The survey is being conducted by an external research provider – ‘Whereto Research’ and some of your clients may have already received an invitation to participate. Having discussed the survey with the ATO, the SMSF Association can confirm that the survey is legitimate and that trustees should not be concerned. The motive behind the survey is to get a better understanding of the SMSF community to assist the ATO to develop targeted communication strategies to ensure key messages reach their audience.

The confidential survey provides the ATO with important information about the SMSF sector and the questions asked are designed to:

  • gauge trustees’ understanding of SMSFs and some of the rules;
  • get insight into trustees’ choice of information sources used to manage SMSFs;
  • determine trustees’ preferred communication channels to keep abreast of changes;
  • understand who trustees primarily rely on to support them with ongoing investment decisions, advice needs as well as reporting and compliance obligations.

If you do have clients that have been invited to take part in the survey, here are some important points to note:

  • Participation in the survey is completely voluntary;
  • The information collected remains anonymous;
  • The survey will take your client’s approximately 15 minutes to complete;
  • Participants can nominate to partake in subsequent feedback sessions (optional).

If your clients want to know more about their rights and the protection of their privacy before they participate, the following link on the ATO website is informative.

Written by
Mary Simmons,
Technical Manager
SMSF Association