Early Superannuation Access – A Serious Choice

As a part of the response to the economic crisis of COVID-19, the Federal Government has introduced early superannuation access as a temporary measure. This has received intermittent coverage in the media. As a result, there’s still a degree of confusion around the matter. As we all know, superannuation is the fund that helps us save for retirement. The new measure follows the logic that the benefit of accessing superannuation during the COVID-19 economy may be greater than holding onto it completely for retirement.

Should I Access My Super Early?

Early access to super is something of a contentious issue. It’s not a position anyone wants to be in as it jeopardises retirement savings, but circumstances have shifted the focus to immediate survival for many. Anyone who is considering accessing their superannuation early needs to take time to evaluate the decision and consequence. It’s a time of uncertainty, and many are being forced to neglect the far future in lieu of the near. Keeping in line with this reasoning, we cannot recommend early superannuation access to anyone who doesn’t absolutely need it. We recommend you seek advice from your Morrows adviser before making a decision on such a matter.

When Do I Apply?

Successful applicants can withdraw up to $10,000 in 2019-20 and up to another $10,000 in 2020-21. This means you can access up to $10,000 before June 30 and up to $10,000 after July 1. However, only one application is allowed before 30 June and one application after 1 July. Anyone looking to access their superannuation prior to June 30 needs to promptly apply. Your Morrows adviser can assist with any component of this process.

Eligibility

In order to qualify for the support, you must satisfy one or more of the following criteria:

  • You are unemployed; or
  • You are eligible to receive a:
    • Job seeker payment; or
    • Youth allowance for jobseekers; or
    • Parenting payment (including both single and partnered); or
    • Special benefit; or
  • On the 1st of January or after, you:
    • Were made redundant; or
    • Had your hours cut by 20% or more; or
    • Are a sole trader whose business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20% or more.

 

Most who access their superannuation early are doing so because of a reduction in their working hours.

How Do I Apply to Have My Super Released Early?

Those looking to access super early can apply to the ATO through the myGov website. There is a procedure to follow in order to access superannuation early. This is the case even if you have a self-managed super fund. More information on this can be found on the ATO’s website here. Individuals must initiate their own withdrawals; a superannuation adviser is not eligible to do this.

Money released from your superannuation under this concession is not subject to tax, nor is it taken into account for assessing other Centrelink or DVA benefits.

 

The effects of the pandemic are sizing up to have long-term implications. The economic fallout of COVID-19 will be a burden that we will carry long into the future. Do not take the decision to access superannuation early lightly. If you’re in need of assistance or advice regarding early superannuation access, please reach out to your Morrows adviser.

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