Your super and COVID-19: what you need to know

How teachers should approach accessing super early under virus measures.
Super early
How you can access super if you need to

Teachers, like so many others, are grappling with a ‘new normal’, as well as dealing with the ongoing repercussions of the pandemic.

The Australian Government has implemented a range of measures designed to support individuals and businesses through COVID-19. These measures include early release of superannuation and reduced minimum drawdowns retirees. Here’s what you need to know:

Accessing your super early
Eligible individuals can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in the 2019/20 financial year and up to a further $10,000 in 2020/21.

To apply for early release, you must satisfy any 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.

Eligible individuals need to apply online directly to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) through myGov. Applications for 2019/20 opened on 20 April and close on 30 June 2020. Applications for 2020/21 will open on 1 July and close on 24 September 2020.

The ATO may take up to four business days to process your application. There is no need to contact your super fund. If your application is approved, the ATO will advise your fund, and they will process your payment within five business days of the ATO letting them know.

Protecting your super from COVID-19 scams
There have been reports of people receiving phone calls from organisations offering to help with early release of super. You should be aware that the only entities who can deal with your super are the ATO and your super fund/s.

If you receive a phone call, text message or email offering to help you release your super early, do not provide your personal information, click on any links or share your myGov login details.

Temporary reduction to minimum drawdown amount
For many retirees, financial market volatility as a result of the COVID-19 crisis is having a negative effect on the account balance of their superannuation pension or annuity.

To assist retirees, the Government has reduced the minimum annual payment required for account-based pensions and similar products by 50% in the 2019/20 and the 2020/21 financial years.

If you would like to change your drawdown amount, including to the new reduced minimum, you should contact your superannuation fund.

Across the country, teachers have continued to provide a vital service to our children, whether that’s in a physical or virtual classroom.

As the leading industry super fund for non-government education and community organisations, NGS Super is here to give teachers a guiding hand as we face an unprecedented challenge. Stay up to date with your super fund to make sure your super is working as hard as you are.