EARLY ACCESS OF SUPER
FOR MEMBERS IMPACTED BY COVID-19
If you’re experiencing financial difficulties due to the impact of Coronavirus, you may be able to obtain access to some of your super from 20 April 2020.
The Federal Government has announced temporary changes to the early release of super under compassionate grounds as part of its COVID-19 response.
The change will allow those impacted by the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their super in 2019-2020 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.
Who is eligible?
To apply, you must satisfy one or more of the following requirements:
- 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 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.
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.
Eligibility will be managed by the ATO.
How to apply
If you are eligible for this new ground of early release, you can apply directly to the ATO through the myGov website from 20 April. You will need to certify that you meet the above eligibility criteria. You can register your interest now by logging in to your myGov account and following the Intention to access coronavirus support instructions.
You will need an email address to create a myGov account. You can then use your email address or mobile phone number to sign in. Once your myGov account is set up, you can link it to ATO online services.
You will receive an email or SMS notification from the ATO when applications are open. You can only apply through the ATO. BUSSQ is not able to accept applications for the COVID-19 early release of super.
Funds obtained due to the early access of super due to Covid-19 are expected to be received within 5-7 business days of the ATO approving your application.
What to be aware of if you are applying for early release of your super
ATO eligibility checks
The ATO are reviewing claims that they believe are not genuine, and will be investigating claims where certain behaviours attract their attention, which includes:
• applying when there is no change to your regular salary and wage, or employment information
• artificially arranging your affairs to meet the eligibility criteria
• making false statements or fraudulent attempts to meet the eligibility criteria
• withdrawing and recontributing super for a tax advantage.
If you provide false or misleading information penalties of up to $12,000 may apply. Find out more.
The impacts of accessing your super early
If you’re considering accessing your super early, there’s some things you should consider first, such as:
- How this will affect your retirement balance.
- How this may affect your insurance cover.
- What will happen if this leads to your account being closed.
Low Account Balances (less than $200)
If you have recently withdrawn funds in your BUSSQ account under COVID-19 early release of super, and now have a low account balance of less than $200, you may be considering what to do with the remaining funds.
Your options are:
- if you are unemployed and at the time of you became unemployed you had less than $200.00 in your super account, you would be eligible to access the remainder of your balance. By withdrawing your remaining funds, you would avoid unnecessary erosion of your account balance over time due to recurring fees and/or premiums; or
- you may make a second withdrawal under COVID-19 early release of super after 30 June 2020 – applications can be submitted online through myGov between 1 July 2020 and 24 September 2020, for the 2020–21 year; or
- you may wish to keep your remaining funds in your BUSSQ account so your account remains open for future employer contributions and/or to retain any existing insurance cover; or
- you may wish to transfer the remaining funds in your BUSSQ account to another active superannuation account, if you have one.
It is important to consider what implications any future withdrawals or closure of your account would have on insurance you may have with BUSSQ. So it’s important you take a moment to review your insurance needs. Any active insurance cover on your BUSSQ account would cease if the balance of your account reduces to zero or if you decide to close the account. The Full Withdrawal section below contains information about options and steps for reinstatement of insurance cover in the event that you close super account.
You can find out more by calling us on 1800 692 877.
If your application for COVID-19 early release results in your account balance being closed, please note that any insurance cover that you may have held on your BUSSQ account would cease on the date your claim was processed, and you will not be able to make a claim for insurance benefits for events or conditions that arise after your cover ceased.
Should further employer contributions be received on your behalf in the future, a new BUSSQ super account would be set up for you, and you may be required to apply for new insurance cover. However, please be aware that any insurance application may be subject to a health assessment and acceptance by our insurer. Our insurer may accept an application on standard terms with standard premiums, apply an exclusion or loading, or they may decline your application. A member welcome pack will be issued where a new account is created, including confirmation of a new BUSSQ member number and a copy of the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).
Frauds and scams
Never provide your bank details to an unknown third party. If you are applying for early release of your super, do not let a third party submit your application on your behalf. We have seen in the past fraudsters taking high fees or commissions or at worse all of a member’s benefit. BUSSQ is here to help you with this process should you need any assistance at all.
Looking for more support?
We have relationships with various organisations in the industry that support our members. Find out more
BUSSQ is here for you
We're here to support you in this difficult time and are doing everything we can to help our members.