Coronavirus Early Access to Super
Updated 17 April 2020
As part of the Australian Government’s economic response to COVID-19, it was announced that individuals affected by the Coronavirus will be granted early access to their superannuation. People will be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.
On Monday 20 April the ATO will make the application form for Coronavirus early release of super, available for individuals to use. From that date, eligible Australian and New Zealand citizens and permanent residents, along with temporary residents, will be able to commence applications.
An individual can make one application in respect of the 19-20 financial year and one application in respect of the 20-21 year (which must be made prior to 24 September 2020).
Australian and New Zealand Citizens and permanent residents
To apply for early release you must satisfy any one or more of the following requirements:
- you are unemployed; or
- you are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers or 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 are a sole trader — your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.
To apply for early release as a temporary resident, you must satisfy one or more of the following requirements:
- you hold a student visa which you have held for 12 months or more and you are unable to meet immediate living expenses.
- you are a temporary skilled work visa holder, your working hours have reduced to zero and you remain engaged with your employer
- you are a temporary resident visa holder (excluding student or skilled worker visas) and you cannot meet immediate living expenses.
Please note: This temporary Early Access to Super initiative is not available on Defined Benefit accounts. Therefore any releases requested via the ATO in relation to Salarylink accounts, including Deferred accounts, will be rejected if received by Statewide Super. If you are unsure whether any of your superannuation is held in a Defined Benefit account, please contact us on 1300 65 18 65 before completing your application through your MyGov account.
How to apply
From 20 April 2020, if you are eligible for this new ground of early release, you can apply directly to the ATO through the myGov website. You will need to certify that you meet the above eligibility criteria.
After the ATO has processed your application, they will issue you with a determination. If your application is successful, the ATO will also provide a copy of this determination to your superannuation fund, which will advise them to release your superannuation payment.
Separate arrangements will apply if you are a member of a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF).
People accessing their superannuation will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.
How much could taking $20,000 now cost you in the future?*
In the long-term your retirement may be impacted
Most superannuation balances have reduced as a result of falling share markets globally. Accessing your super savings after a drop in value locks in those losses, limiting the ability to recoup when, as we hope occurs, the markets make a recovery. This may be to the detriment of your long-term retirement savings.
*Calculations are the potential impact on your retirement balance using the following assumptions - Investment earnings of 3% per annum after inflation and investment fees, annual asset based admin fee of 0.11%, retirement age of 67, current tax and superannuation laws remain unchanged and the member withdrawing $20,000 from their account. The impact on retirement balance shown in the graph is an estimate only. Under certain conditions you may be eligible to access up to $10,000 in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21 from your super account. Visit www.ato.com.au for terms and conditions.