Thinking of accessing your super early? Read this first.

As part of the Australian Government’s economic defence, changes were announced back in March allowing eligible Australians and New Zealanders access to $10,000 of their super in 2019–20 and a further $10,000 in 2020–21.

As of May 3, about $6.3 billion of payments were made to 830,000 eligible applicants and the numbers will, no doubt, continue to grow.

Assistant Minister for Superannuation Jane Hume was quoted as saying:
“The Government expects around 1.6 to 1.7 million Australians will apply for early release of superannuation and that will equate to about $27 billion to come out of the system.”

While accessing your super early has benefits, there are also significant risks to bear in mind. Elevate Super‘s Senior Investment Specialist Victoria Kent broke it down for us…

Who can access their super early?
To apply for early access to super, you must satisfy one or more of the following requirements:
* you are unemployed; or
* you are eligible to receive Centrelink payments such as a Job Seeker payment, Youth Allowance, parenting payments (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% or more; or
– if you are a sole trader — your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20% or more.

If you have money in more than one super fund, you can withdraw from multiple accounts provided the total amount does not exceed $10,000 in one financial year.

These temporary rules will also extend to most temporary visa holders with work rights, including international students and temporary skilled visa holders.

Does this make sense for me?
Like with most decisions, it really does depend on your individual circumstances. SuperGuide recommends the early access incentive should be regarded as a last resort, acknowledging it also provides a welcome safety net. SuperGuide warns withdrawing money from your super now will “not only crystallise your losses but potentially shortchange your future.”

It’s clear that a withdrawal now (much like a contribution now) will impact the amount of super you’ll have available in retirement.

How long do I need to wait to get the money?
According to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, to retire comfortably a single person will need retirement savings of $545,000 while a couple will need $640,000.

You may need to withdraw some of your super but be aware that reducing your funds will mean they lose the power of compound interest, which over time can be substantial!

Superannuation, like any long‐term investment, rides the ups and downs of the market over your working life – based on history this typically follows an upward trend over the long term.

When considering the recent market downturn, withdrawing your super money now could mean risking missing out on a potential market rebound, which could see your money grow to well over $10,000 by the time you retire.

Before you consider early access to your super, it’s worth exploring all your other options. The Government announced a range of other financial assistance measures which include income support payments and payments to support households.

However, if you’ve exhausted all other options and it means putting food on the table, it’s only fair you have access to your retirement savings. After all, it is your money.

If you’re still uncertain, it might be worth getting financial advice. Services Australia’s Financial Information Service is one of many resources providing free, confidential financial information.

How long do I need to wait to get the money?
According to the Australian Tax Office (ATO), after applying through MyGov, the ATO will take up to four business days to process your application and send you a letter of approval or rejection to your myGov inbox.

If approved, your superannuation fund is then notified and you should expect a payment to be made within 5 business days.

If your fund is a self-managed super fund, you’ll need to let them know you have received the determination so they can make the payment to you.

Scam alert!
As if COVID‐19 wasn’t enough to worry about, the Treasury have warned they are concerned about scams or schemes where people:
* impersonate the ATO, or a trusted organisation like your super fund, to steal your money or personal identifying information
* approach you and charge you for services that are free, like gaining early access to your superannuation.

If you’re suspicious of a scam, call the ATO on 1800 008 540 to confirm if a contact you received was genuine.

Elevate Super is a retail super fund managed by investment specialists AtlasTrend. Elevate Super assess and measure investments based on their long-term growth fundamentals plus positive contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a global blueprint for balancing today’s economic, social and environmental needs.

Important notice: AtlasTrend Pty Ltd (ABN 83 605 565 491) is the promoter of Elevate Super and an AFSL Corporate Authorised Representative (No. 001233660) of Fundhost Limited (AFSL 233045) and Arrow Securities Group Pty Ltd (AFSL 448218) (Arrow). This communication contains general advice only and does not take into consideration your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. None of the information provided is, or should be considered to be, personal financial advice. The information provided in this communication is believed to be accurate at the time of writing. None of AtlasTrend, Aracon Superannuation Pty Ltd, Arrow or their related entities nor their respective officers and agents accept responsibility for any inaccuracy in, or any actions taken in reliance upon the general advice provided. A copy of AtlasTrend’s financial services guide can be found at www.elevatesuper.com.au/fsg. This communication is not an offer to invest in Elevate Super. Before deciding on Elevate Super, you should read the Product Disclosure Statement available or call Elevate Super on 1800 875 148 and seek professional financial advice to consider if Elevate Super is appropriate for you. Elevate Super is a sub plan of the Aracon Superannuation Fund. Elevate Super is issued by Aracon Superannuation Pty Ltd (ABN 13 133 547 396, AFSL No. 507184, RSE Licence No. L0003384) as Trustee of the Aracon Superannuation Fund (ABN 40 586 548 205).

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