On 23 March 2020, the Government legislated a further $66 billion coronavirus stimulus package, which included early access to superannuation.

Summary of the proposed changes

1. The Government will allow people in financial stress to access up to $10,000 from their superannuation this financial year (2019-20) and up to $10,000 in the next Financial year
(2020-21).

2. There will be a be a temporary 50% reduction in superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

These measures have been legislated, and will be effective with Royal Assent. The measures will take a short period to implement through MyGov, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and super funds. Members will be able to check their eligibility on MyGov and apply from mid-April. 

What members need to know

Find out information as it comes to hand

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Early access to superannuation of up to $20,000

The Government will allow individuals in financial stress as a result of the coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.

Any super that is released early will not be taxed and will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

Superannuation is designed to be a long-term investment. Choosing to access your super early should be an informed decision and take into account your personal and financial circumstances. Withdrawing super savings during periods of extreme volatility could crystallise losses and could leave members with low balances once the markets start to recover. To help you make the right choice we have a Member news feed with information about the current changes and things to consider about your super.

Am I eligible to apply?

In order to access your super early, you must certify that you meet one of the following criteria:

You are currently:

  • unemployed, or
  • eligible for a job seeker payment, youth allowance for job seekers parenting payment (both single and partnered payments), special benefit, or farm household allowance, or

On or after 1 Jan 2020:

  • You were made redundant, or
  •  Your working hours were reducedby 20% of more, or
  •  If you’rea sole trader, your business was suspended, or your turnover reduced by 20% or more.

Once legislation has passed, you will be able to apply for $10,000 from mid-April 2020 and applications must be made by 30 June 2020 for the FY2020 period. You will be able to apply for a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 to 30 September 2020 for the FY2021 period.

How do I apply?

All applications are to be made online through the Australian Taxation Office’s
(ATO) MyGov website and then clicking on the Compassionate Relief tabs.

The ATO will process applications for early release and issue determinations to
super funds. This means that the ATO will let us know whether we can release
your super early.

For more information and related case studies; 
Read the Government’s fact sheet, Early access to superannuation

Retirement Income Streams

The minimum superannuation drawdown requirements for retirement income stream holders will be cut by 50% for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years, in a similar measure to that introduced during the Global Financial Crisis. This measure is designed to protect retirement savings.

The minimum drawdown for 2019/20 and 2020/21 will be as follows:

Age at 1 July

50% Minimum Drawdown Requirement due to Coronavirus

Normal Minimum Drawdown Requirement

Under 65

2%

4%

65-74

2.5%

5%

75-79

3%

6%

80-84

3.5%

7%

85-89

4.5%

9%

90-94

5.5%

11%

95+

7%

14%

Minimum superannuation drawdown requirements for transition to retirement income stream holders will also be reduced from the current minimum of 4% to 2% this financial year and next financial year. 

What this means is income stream holders who have already been receiving the minimum payments regularly during 2019/20 may not have to receive any more payments for the rest of this financial year.

For more information and related case studies; 
Read the Government’s Providing support for retirees fact sheet.