Superannuation Early Release (COVID)
July 8, 2020

If you have been affected by COVID adversely, then you are able to access a $10,000 withdrawal from your super up to twice in the year ending 30 June 2020 and then again in July 2020.

Photo by Elias Castillo on Unsplash

There are conditions however and broadly they are:

ELIGIBILITY

You must REQUIRE the early release to get you through adverse economic conditions which have affected you because of COVID. It is not just available, you have to show the reason why you need it. 

So one of the following must be ticked off:

  • you are unemployed
  • you are eligible to receive any of:
    • JobSeeker Payment
    • Youth Allowance for job seekers
    • Parenting Payment (which includes the single and partnered payments)
    • Special Benefit
    • Farm Household Allowance
  • on or after 1 January 2020
    • you were made redundant
    • your working hours were reduced by 20% or more
    • you were a sole trader and your business was suspended OR there was a reduction in turnover of 20% or more.

The criteria is important and is NOT assessed prior to the application being approved. Much like the tax system you have to prove that you require the funds to live. This is not what was originally expressed by the PM, but it is the policy of the ATO.

ISSUES

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

There will be penalties where you do not qualify and they range from a fine and interest and/or the money having to be repaid.

As with anything to do with  the ATO, paper is gold. So keep things like.

  • payslips
  • letters, emails or rosters from your employer
  • bank statements
  • business cash flow and turnover records
  • website or other public notice confirming your business closed
  • documents confirming eligibility for relevant government allowances or benefits (above)
  • separation certificate.

HELP IS AT HAND

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

To get financial advice on your super, i..e whether you should do it or not, then you need to speak to a financial planner. We have some great contacts in this space so please reach out. We cannot provide direct advice on what you should do, and so it is important that you get access to a qualified professional in this space. 

One word of caution, please be wary of reduced balances affecting insurance premiums. These policies are important and may be suspended or cancelled until the balance rises again. 

If the ATO comes knocking then please get us involved – we can assist with these discussions.

And if you are a sole trader and they require you to substantiate the numbers, it is very important that your books are up to date. We have access to excellent bookkeepers who can assist with this quickly and economically should the need arise.

CONCLUSIONS

Photo by Crawford Jolly on Unsplash

The whole area of super is complex and you really need specialist advice. Accessing your super in these times seems a simple thing to do, but it requires thought and clarity. 

Our team and partners are here to help, so please contact us with any queries.