Temporary early access to your super

If you’re negatively impacted by the effects of COVID-19, the Government has allowed for individuals to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 financial year and a further $10,000 in 2020-21 financial year.

 

Important note

You must ensure that you are eligible  BEFORE you apply for COVID-19 early release of super. The ATO advises to keep records that demonstrate your eligibility, as checks and penalties may apply at a later date for false declarations.

If you withdraw your full balance, your super account will be at risk of closing and any insurance cover you have through your super will cease.

Please note we expect to make most payments within 5 – 10 business days* of receiving your details from the ATO. This doesn’t include ATO processing time or your bank’s processing time.

*At times, we might extend beyond 5 – 10 business days if extra verification or other checks are required on your account. If you have not received payment from us after 14 business days, please contact us.

 

Overview

The government recognises that there are many individuals who are significantly financially affected by COVID-19. As a result, they are allowing eligible individuals to access part of their superannuation early as this may outweigh the benefits of waiting until retirement to access their savings. The government is also offering multiple packages to support households and businesses. A list of these can be found under Government Support on our COVID-19 page.

Eligible individuals were able to apply online through myGov to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 to 24 September 2020.

Super is an important part of helping you save for retirement. These savings are heavily protected to safeguard this source of income for your future. Making a withdrawal from your super is a serious consideration and should not be done in a rush. You should carefully consider all options for financial support available to you at this time and ensure you are eligible before you apply for early access to your super.

 

Am I eligible?

To apply for early access to your superannuation, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • you are unemployed; or
  • you are 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 / 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 was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.

Please refer to the ATO website for full eligibility details.

 

Applying when not eligible

Please note that verifying your eligibility for early access is your responsibility.

Before you apply for COVID-19 early release of super, you must check the above eligibility criteria carefully and keep records which demonstrate your eligibility. If you were not eligible at the time you submitted your application, action may be taken against you by the ATO.

If you cannot demonstrate your eligibility when ATO requests evidence via an audit, the ATO may reverse 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, 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.

Eligibility may be tricky depending on your personal circumstances. If you believe you have mistakenly accessed early release of your super when you have not been eligible, you can contact the ATO, who can help you to resolve the issue. It’s a lot easier to work through a resolution by being proactive than waiting to be contacted when the ATO start an audit.

I am NOT eligible for Temporary Access to Superannuation

If you have been advised by us that you are not eligible for COVID-19 early access to super, we advise you to contact the ATO on 13 10 20 to discuss the situation and your individual circumstances.

 

How do I apply?

If you are eligible, you must apply online through myGov for early access to your super.

Please note that you cannot apply through Christian Super directly.

 

What is the process?

  1. Submit your application through my.Gov.au
  2. The ATO will process and forward us your approved application within 4 business days^
  3. Christian Super will transfer your money within 5 – 10 business days* after receiving confirmation from the ATO
  4. We will send you an SMS once the payment has been made
  5. Your bank will process this payment and you will receive it 3 – 5 business days later

^Separate arrangements will apply if you are a member of a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF). Further guidance will be available on the ATO website: www.ato.gov.au.

*At times, we might extend beyond 5 – 10 business days if extra verification or other checks are required on your account. If you have not received payment from us after 14 business days, please contact us.

 

Consider the impact of making a significant withdrawal from your Super

Super is designed to help you accumulate enough savings to live on in your retirement years. The greatest benefit of the Super model is compound interest. So $20K sitting in super today for a 30 year old could become about $50K in retirement.

It is worth exploring other modes of financial support that you are eligible for which may help you to get through significant financial challenges resulting from COVID-19. This may include home loan deferrals, bill deferrals and government payments.

 

Will I be taxed?

If you’re eligible to access your superannuation early, you will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money withdrawn will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

If you are audited by the ATO and found to have not been eligible at the time of accessing COVID-19 early release of super, you may be taxed on the amount released from your super.

 

Can I return money that I accessed under the early release scheme if I change my mind?

If you have accessed money from your superannuation account and would now like to return this money, you can do so via making a contribution through your online account.

Please be aware that by making a claim to a personal super contribution deduction, broader tax outcomes may be applied. Any tax benefit obtained in relation to such a deduction could be cancelled if the ATO determines that you have entered into the scheme mainly for the purpose of obtaining a tax benefit. If you are concerned about this, we advise you to contact the ATO on 13 10 20 to discuss the situation.

 

Beware of scams

Unfortunately, scammers are targeting people through the COVID-19 early release of super scheme. COVID-19 (coronavirus) themed phishing emails and SMSs are currently in circulation.

Please be alert if you are asked to pay a fee to access your super under this scheme, as it’s likely to be a scam. The ATO is managing this scheme through myGov. There is no need to involve a third party or pay a fee to access your super under this scheme.

If you believe your personal information may have been accessed by scammers targeting the COVID-19 early access to super scheme, this ATO webpage has information that can help you. If you need further assistance, please contact the ATO on 13 10 20 to discuss the situation.

 

Need help?

Our Member Care Team is here to help you with questions around early access to your superannuation.

Phone: 1300 360 907
9:00am – 6:00pm (AEDT) Monday to Friday

Email: members@christiansuper.com.au

 

For more information on the Australian Government’s Economic Response to the Coronavirus visit treasury.gov.au/coronavirus.

Businesses can visit business.gov.au to find out more about how the Economic Response complements the range of support available to small and medium businesses.

 

This is general advice only and you should consider your personal circumstances and seek financial advice as appropriate before deciding on whether seeking early release of superannuation is appropriate for you.