How to apply for COVID-19 early release of superannuation

Early release of super

Our thoughts are with all members and clients impacted by COVID-19 and the associated lockdown measures.

If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, you may be eligible to apply to withdraw up to $10,000 from one or more of your super funds, between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2020. Applications for the 2019-20 financial year closed on 30 June 2020.

It is important to understand that withdrawing superannuation now can have significant impacts on your retirement balance, and that withdrawing all your money from super could also cause any associated insurance cover to cease.

Those accessing their superannuation will not need to pay tax on amounts released, and the money withdrawn will not affect Centrelink and Veterans' Affairs payments, or the JobKeeper payment.

Please note – we can only process claims sent to us under instruction by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). All claims must be applied for via the ATO using the myGov platform.

To apply for early access to your super, first, check the balance(s) of the superfunds you intend on withdrawing from. The ATO does not always have up to date account balances on its system, and your superfund(s) will not be able to pay you amounts in excess of your account balance.

You must then certify to the ATO that you satisfy one of the following requirements:

  1. You’re a citizen or permanent resident of Australia or New Zealand and you are either unemployed or eligible to receive JobSeeker, Youth Allowance for jobseekers, Parenting Payment (including the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance (there may be other eligible social security payments, please check the Services Australia website for the most up to date list).
  2. You’re a citizen or permanent resident of Australia or New Zealand and on or after 1 January 2020, you were made redundant, had your working hours reduced by 20% or more, or you are a sole trader and your business experienced suspension or a reduction in turnover of 20% or more.

If you meet any of the above criteria you will be asked to select which fund(s) you wish to withdraw from, and specify the amounts you want to withdraw, up to a total of $10,000.

Further guidance is available on the ATO website.

Temporary residents are not eligible to apply for a COVID-19 early release of super in 2020–21. If your visa has expired and you have left Australia, you may be eligible for the Departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP).

IMPORTANT: Please note the ATO have announced they will be investigating claims and may apply penalties for ineligible applications.

If the ATO approves your application, they will send you an SMS. Your details, including your bank details, will be subsequently be sent by the ATO to your nominated fund(s) for processing your claim. It is very important your bank details are accurate.

On receiving instructions from the ATO, Intrust Super is currently processing most claims between 1-5 business days. A small proportion of claims (less than 5%) require further investigation to protect our members against fraud. In those instances we communicate with the impacted members as quickly and frequently as possible; to ensure they are aware of what has happened and stay up to date with claim progress.

The below diagram illustrates the process you should undertake to apply for an early release claim, and the broad process Intrust Super executes to ensure most claims are processed within 5 business days:

Diagram 1 – COVID-19 early release of superannuation process
Please note this process is only conducted on business days.

INTRUST SUPER - Early access to your Super- Infographics - LANDSCAPE - LONG V3

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