COVID-19 Temporary early access to your super

The Government is allowing early access to super savings for people affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19). If eligible, you can apply online through myGov to access up to $10,000 of your super before 1 July 2020, and a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020.

Important note

If you've applied for early access to super (COVID-19) via myGov, once the ATO approves it and informs us, we’ll process your payment as soon as possible and send it to your bank account. If you withdraw your full balance, your super account will close and any insurance cover you have through your super will cease.

Please note that we expect to make most payments within 5 business days after we receive your details from the ATO. This doesn’t include ATO processing time or any time your bank may take to put it in your account. See below for details.

Eligibility

To apply for early release of your super, you must satisfy any one or more of these requirements:

  • you’re unemployed,
  • you’re eligible to receive a Jobseeker payment, Youth Allowance for Jobseekers, Parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), Special Benefit or Farm Household Allowance;

or, on / after 1 January 2020:

  • you were made redundant; or
  • your working hours were reduced by 20% or more; or
  • if you are a sole trader – your business is suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20% or more.

Members accessing their super will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money withdrawn will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

If you’re not sure whether you’re eligible for the COVID-19 early access to super, you can contact the ATO on 13 10 20 to discuss your situation. The ATO can then work with you to determine whether you are in fact eligible based on your individual circumstances.

For details about this Government measure,

Applying when not eligible

Before you apply for COVID-19 early release of super, you need to check the eligibility criteria carefully and keep records that demonstrate your eligibility. If you weren’t eligible at the time you submitted your application, action may be taken against you by the ATO.

If you can’t demonstrate your eligibility when ATO requests for evidence, the ATO may revoke any determination they have issued regarding your application. This means the amount paid to you under COVID-19 early release of super will:

  • become assessable income
  • need to be included in your tax return and you will pay tax on the released amount.

If you provide false or misleading information you could face penalties of more than $12,000 for each false and misleading statement.

For examples of incorrect claims and details on how ATO verifies claims, visit the ATO website.

How to apply

Eligible members can apply online through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) via myGov until 31 December 2020.

Please make sure you fill in your correct bank details in your myGov application for early access to super. If you’ve provided incorrect details and payment has been made to another bank account, we may not be able to retrieve it for you. If you think that you have entered incorrect details, please contact the ATO and AustralianSuper immediately.

Once the ATO approves your application and notifies us, we will try to process your payment within 5 business days and send it to your bank account. Once we’ve done that, it may take a few more days before it appears on your bank account balance.

If you withdraw your full balance, your super account will close and any insurance cover you have through your super will cease.

You cannot apply through AustralianSuper

We suggest you log into your online account to check your AustralianSuper balance before you apply. If your super balance is less than what you’ve requested, you will only receive the available amount and will not be able to make another application for COVID-19 early access for this current financial year. To assist with processing your claim, please check your personal details via your online account.

FAQs on what happens next

Get answers to your questions about your COVID-19 applications or payment.

view our faqs

Latest alerts - COVID-19 phishing scams targeting early super release

There are currently COVID-19 (Coronavirus) themed phishing emails and SMSs in circulation.

If you are approached about paying a fee to release your super, it is likely to be a scam.

The Australian Taxation Office is managing all claims for the early release of super through myGov. There is no need to involve a third party or pay a fee to get access to this scheme. 

Find out how you can protect yourself. To get help with identity theft, visit the ATO website

3 things to think about before accessing super early:

1. Other types of financial support that you could access now
2. The long-term impact on your retirement savings
3. How your insurance cover may be affected

 

To help you make informed decisions, it’s important you’re aware of all your options and think about your short and long-term financial needs.

1. What extra financial support might be available to you at this time?

The Government is providing financial assistance to Australians impacted by COVID-19 through income and household support payments. Many banks and utilities companies are also putting additional financial hardship support in place to help people get through the next six months.

Some places to check are:

  • moneysmart.gov.au – COVID-19 Financial Assistance 
  • treasury.gov.au – Coronavirus support for individuals and households
  • serviceaustralia.gov.au – Coronavirus Financial support
  • your bank – some banks are offering to suspend repayment up to six months for home loans, personal loans and credit cards
  • state governments and tenancy boards can offer information on rent relief and your rights
  • Utility companies – speak to your electricity and gas providers’ financial hardship department, as you may be able to set up a payment plan during this time.
READ MORE: COVID-19 FINANCIAL RELIEF RESOURCES
2. Consider the long-term impact on your retirement savings

Super is a long-term saving scheme. It works well because by keeping your money invested it earns compound interest, which is essentially ‘interest’ on your ‘interest’.

AustralianSuper modelling indicates that a 25-year-old who withdraws $20,000 now could have $64,400 less super by the time they retire at 67*.

Use the ‘Early access (COVID-19)’ calculator feature to see how withdrawing super now could reduce your retirement savings.

*Estimates by AustralianSuper. Assumptions: Member age is as specified, retires at 67, withdraws $10,000 this financial year and $10,000 next financial year from their super, with long term investment returns of 6.5%pa net of investment fees and taxes. Estimates are expressed in today’s dollars discount at wage inflation of 3.5%pa. The case study is provided for illustration purposes only and isn’t a representation of the actual benefits that may be received or the fees and costs of a particular financial product. Investment returns are not guaranteed.

3. Check if your insurance will be impacted

Insurance is an important part of most members’ overall financial security. If you want to maintain your insurance cover, check you have enough money in your super account to keep paying insurance costs after you have accessed your super. If you withdraw your full balance, your super account will close and any insurance cover you have through your super will cease.

If you aren’t sure how much your insurance is costing you, log into your account, or use our app.

You can also use the AustralianSuper insurance calculator to get an estimate of your weekly cost. This is only an estimate so if you’re unsure please contact us.

Can I claim Income Protection benefits if I’ve lost my job?

Income Protection doesn’t apply to loss of income from business closure or lack of shifts. Income Protection can only provide monthly payments to help you get by if you become ill or injured (at work or outside of work) and can’t work temporarily.

For more FAQs about insurance please visit the insurance section of the website at australiansuper.com/insurance

For details on insurance cover, see the Insurance in your super guide for your division. All members can apply for insurance cover at any time.

Other ways to access your super

There are other situations where you may be able to access some of your super.

find out more
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