The Federal Government recently announced it would allow those affected by COVID-19 to access some of their superannuation balances early.
How much super can you access?
Per the government’s stimulus package announcement – the full details of which can be found here – it is allowing individuals affected by the coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.
So in short, you can access up to $20,000 of your super. That first $10,000 is available between mid-April and 1 July 2020, and the second $10,000 is available after 1 July 2020 for around three months.
Crucially, those withdrawing their super will not need to pay tax on amounts released, and the money withdrawn will not affect Centrelink payments.
“While superannuation helps people save for retirement, the Government recognises that for those significantly financially affected by the Coronavirus, accessing some of their superannuation today may outweigh the benefits of maintaining those savings until retirement,” the official Economic Response to the Coronavirus fact sheet says.
Withdrawing these maximum super balances is completely optional – but it can pay to know if you’re eligible to do so if needed.
Who is eligible to access their super?
According to the fact sheet, to apply for early release you must satisfy at least one of the following criteria:
You must be unemployed
You must be eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment or other special payment
After January 1 2020:
You were made redundant
Your working hours were reduced by 20% or more
As a sole trader, your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more
You’ll be able to apply for early super release from mid-April 2020, and can do so directly on the ATO’s website through myGov at http://www.my.gov.au/.
How you can access your Super from a SMSF
If you are a member of a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) who is eligible, you can apply through myGov from mid-April. We will then issue you with a determination advising of your eligibility to release an amount. When your SMSF receives the determination from you, they will be authorised to make the payment.