Support during hard times
During these difficult times, we know that you may be experiencing hardship resulting from the coronavirus outbreak, such as becoming unemployed, having a reduced super balance or having health concerns about COVID-19.
We want to assure you we are doing everything we can to help you get through this challenging time, so we have put together some information to help you understand your options:
- government financial support available
- other financial support and budgeting
- your super, investments and insurance
- FAQs – answers to questions you may have
When you are considering what financial support to apply for, please be aware of what short-term relief you may be eligible for from the government or your employer before drawing down on longer term investments, such as your superannuation.
If you have made an early release application to the ATO, and need more information, click here.
Government financial support
There are several government support packages which have been announced recently.
Jobseeker – a payment providing financial support if you are unemployed. Note: Check with your employer first before applying in case they have included you in their Jobkeeper application.
Jobkeeper – a fortnightly payment of $1,500 for eligible employees from 30 March 2020 for a maximum of six months.
Supplementary payments – for existing Centrelink recipients – a payment of $750 in April 2020 and another $750 on 13 July 2020 subject to eligibility.
For more information on financial support, go to the Australian Government Services Australia website.
Other financial support and budgeting
Tenant and rent assistance – On 29 March 2020, the Prime Minister announced a six months Evictions Moratorium which means no tenant can be evicted from their property during this time. The Federal Government is also considering how they might be able to provide rental assistance.
Budgeting – during the coronavirus lockdown, your spend on luxuries, such as restaurants, cafes and personal items has probably reduced. So why not start a ‘coronavirus budget’ to capture those extra dollars and save for a holiday or just to have a buffer in your bank account for when you need it? Go to MoneySmart’s budgeting tool or these five financial apps for saving money.
Early access - The government 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. To find out more information click here.
Minimum annual payments for your pension - If you have an account-based Club Plus Pension, the Federal Government has halved the amount of super you need to withdraw for 2019-20 and 2020-21. For example, if you are under age 65, your minimum annual withdrawal is now 2% instead of 4%. Or if you are aged 65 to 74, you only need to withdraw 2.5% instead of 5% annually. The percentage rate changes depending on your age. Find out how to change your pension limits here.
For more information, read the ATO’s COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) information page.
The ATO has also recently provided more information about taking action on ineligible early release applications. To make sure you're doing the right thing we suggest you read their Integrity and compliance information page.
Be aware of scams
Be cautious about any emails or calls you receive regarding early access to your super. Once early access to super becomes available, you will be able to apply through myGov directly. You shouldn't need a third party to assist with this and there is no fee to apply. This useful ATO page is updated with scams to be mindful of.
Club Plus Super will not email or send you an SMS requesting your personal information or bank account details. If you are unsure if a communication is genuine, please contact us and we can verify this for you.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has published a fact sheet about early access scams you should be aware of.