Accessing your superannuation to help with challenges of COVID-19

Early access to retirement savings should only occur under extreme circumstances.

At first glance, accessing early release superannuation may seem convenient. But it risks undermining your planned retirement income.

New Early Release of Super rules

The Federal Government recently announced it would allow those affected by COVID-19 to access some of their superannuation balances early.

Under the new rules, workers whose hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more or those who have lost their job due to the COVID-19 outbreak can access up to $20,000 of their super.

That first $10,000 is available between mid-April and 30 June 2020, and the second $10,000 is available after 1 July 2020 for around three months.

There is no doubt that the next few months are going to be difficult for many of us. However, we all have a role to play to adapt to the changes we are facing and understand the best option for each of us, to cushion the impact of what is happening. This means considering our financial needs now and in the future.

It’s important to remember that your super is your retirement savings. Money you take out today will be money you don’t have in retirement.

To get a view on the impact withdrawing super today could have on your retirement, click here and use MoneySmart calculator: COVID-19 Accessing Your Super.

There are also real issues to consider when divesting from your super when the market is volatile.

Accessing your super at the bottom of the market may mean losing hard-earned retirement savings. We encourage all our members to carefully weigh all their options, before dipping into their retirement savings.

If you do decide to withdraw your Super:
  • you will need to apply directly to the ATO through the myGov website and certify that you meet the eligibility criteria. After processing your application, the ATO will let you know and advise us to make the payment.

For more information please refer to the Federal Government’s fact sheet here.

Insurance cover

Insurance in super can provide important financial protection if you become seriously ill and are unable to work for an extended period of time.  The cover provide by our insurer MetLife does not have any exclusions in relation to the coronavirus.

It is important to note however that the cover provided does not cover you being made redundant, taking unpaid leave or having your hours reduced.

You can find out more about the insurance cover provided through Fund membership here  and in the Insurance Guide.


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Important Documents

Download PDFAustralian Government Fact Sheet
Early Release of Super
Download PDFAustralian Government
Fact Sheet Income Support