COVID-19 and temporary early access to super
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Superannuation

COVID-19 and temporary early access to super

On Sunday 22 March 2020, the Federal Government announced that people facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic will be granted temporary early access to super.

Applied for early access to your super?

There's generally no need to contact us. 

If the ATO has approved your application via MyGov, they'll notify us, and we'll generally process your payment within 5 business days. The money will be in your bank account within a further 5 business days, depending on your banking institution. 

We'll reach out to you if the information you've provided the ATO doesn't match our records.

We're working to support our members in financial distress and appreciate your patience.

If you're applying to the ATO for early access to your super for the second time, it's vital that you check your current LUCRF Super account balance in Members Online as the balance you see in myGov won’t reflect the early access payment we made to you earlier this year.

Temporary early access to super

Between 1 July and 31 December 2020 (FY2020-21) eligible individuals can apply online through ATO online services in myGov to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation

You should carefully consider eligibility criteria as penalties of up to $12,000 apply for making false and misleading statements.

What are my options for financial assistance?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by money issues, it can be hard to know where to turn. We've summarised some of the key measures the Government, banks, super funds and others are offering to immediately help Australians financially throughout this time.
More information - Six options for financial support during COVID-19.
 

Should I access my super early?

Accessing your super early could mean you may not have enough left to provide you with a decent income when you retire.

Other important things to consider before you apply:

  • You may be eligible for one or more other Government payments right now.
  • Accessing your super early will lock-in short-term losses.
  • Accessing your super early will mean you’ll miss out on the market rebound.
  • Accessing your super early will mean you’ll miss out on compound interest.
  • Accessing your super early could result in any insurance currently in place being cancelled. You should carefully consider this loss of insurance before making any withdrawal from super

Am I eligible?

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

Australian and New Zealand citizens and permanent residents

  • you're unemployed; or
  • you're eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance; or
  • on or after 1 January 2020:
    • you were made redundant; or
    • your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more; or
    • if you're a sole trader — your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.

Temporary visa holders

Student visa holders (Subclasses 500, 570-576):

  • you've held your student visa for 12 months or more; and
  • you're unable to meet your immediate living expenses.

Temporary skilled work visa holders (Subclasses 457 and 482)

  • on or after 1 January 2020, you had your working hours reduced to zero by your employer; and
  • you're still employed by that employer.

All other temporary visa holders (including Working Holiday Maker visa holders and other working visas)

  • you're unable to meet your immediate living expenses.

Please note:

You need to review the eligibility criteria carefully before you apply and keep records that demonstrate your eligibility. If you apply and you're not eligible at the time of submitting your application the ATO may take action, including charging a fee of $12,000 and over.

More information on the ATO’s integrity and compliance measures here.

Will this impact my balance when I retire?

If you’re experiencing financial stress as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have an immediate need to access your super early. However, it’s important to consider that taking $20,000 or even $10,000 out of your super now could reduce your balance by a much larger amount when you come to retire – due to compound interest.

As your super grows each year, it generally grows at a faster and faster rate. Early withdrawals from super could mean you miss out on this compounding effect.

Will my insurance be affected?

Early withdrawals from your super account could result in any insurance cover you have being impacted.

Please refer to COVID-19 and your insurance and the LUCRF Super Insurance Guide for information about when cover ceases and the steps you need to take if you wish to maintain your insurance cover.

Beware of unsolicited scammers

The ATO is directly managing the applications for early release of super. 

If you are eligible, the only way you can apply for early access to your super is to the ATO through the myGov online portal. You generally won’t need a third party to assist with your application or the process, and you should be very cautious of anyone emailing or calling you to offer a service or charging a fee related to the early access process.

If you think you’ve been targeted by someone who is trying to access your super early, report it to EarlyReleaseofSuperTeam@ato.gov.au 

If you have any concerns or believe you’ve given your details to a scammer, please contact us on 1300 130 780.

How can I apply?

If you’re eligible, you can apply through ATO online services in the myGov online portal between 1 July and 31 December 2020 (FY2020-21).

Important note: You should carefully consider eligibility criteria as penalties of up to $12,000 apply for making false and misleading statements.

What is my current super balance?

The balance you see on myGov is based on the last time we reported to the ATO - 27 April 2020.

Since we last reported to the ATO, your balance may have changed as a result of any contributions made into your account, other super account consolidations, recent investment market volatility, administration fees and any insurance premiums deducted from your account.

You can check your current LUCRF Super account balance in Members Online and you should use this amount as a guide to how much you can request to withdraw when you complete the application process through ATO online services in the myGov online portal.

If the ATO approves your application but the amount you have requested is higher than your actual account balance, we can only pay you the amount in your account. 

What's the process?

Please note:

  • No tax will be payable on any released amounts.
  • Eligibility criteria applies.
  • The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will decide who is eligible, not LUCRF Super.
  • To claim, you will need to go to mygov.com directly
  • If you provide false or misleading information in your application, you could face penalties of more than $12,000 for each false and misleading statement. More information here.

Please refer to the Australian Government’s official Fact Sheet for eligibility and more details as they emerge.

Other resources

  1. As with all financial decisions, it’s important consider the pros and the cons of accessing your super early. For more information visit - COVID-19: The pros and cons of accessing your super early.
  2. The Barefoot Investor1 has written and made available an article from his recent newsletter about the Temporary Early Access to Super scheme and things to consider – ‘How to grab a quick 20k, but is it painless?’
  3. Moneysmart has created a handy list of steps to look after yourself and your money – ‘COVID-19 making financial decisions’.
  4. Industry SuperFunds Australia has provided a snapshot indication of how much you could stand to lose from your retirement by accessing your super now – ‘What could you stand to lose?

LUCRF Super does not recommend, endorse or accept any responsibility for the products and services offered by Barefoot Investor.

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