Accessing your superannuation to help with challenges of COVID-19

Early access to retirement savings should only occur under extreme circumstances.

At first glance, accessing early release superannuation may seem convenient. But it risks undermining your planned retirement income.

New Early Release of Super rules

The Federal Government recently announced it would allow those affected by COVID-19 to access some of their superannuation balances early.

Under the new rules, workers whose hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more or those who have lost their job due to the COVID-19 outbreak can access up to $20,000 of their super.

That first $10,000 is available between mid-April and 30 June 2020, and the second $10,000 is available after 1 July 2020 for around three months.

There is no doubt that the next few months are going to be difficult for many of us. However, we all have a role to play to adapt to the changes we are facing and understand the best option for each of us, to cushion the impact of what is happening. This means considering our financial needs now and in the future.

It’s important to remember that your super is your retirement savings. Money you take out today will be money you don’t have in retirement.

To get a view on the impact withdrawing super today could have on your retirement, click here and use MoneySmart calculator: COVID-19 Accessing Your Super.

There are also real issues to consider when divesting from your super when the market is volatile.

Accessing your super at the bottom of the market may mean losing hard-earned retirement savings. We encourage all our members to carefully weigh all their options, before dipping into their retirement savings.

If you do decide to withdraw your Super:
  • you will need to apply directly to the ATO through the myGov website and certify that you meet the eligibility criteria. After processing your application, the ATO will let you know and advise us to make the payment.

For more information please refer to the Federal Government’s fact sheet here.

Insurance cover

Insurance in super can provide important financial protection if you become seriously ill and are unable to work for an extended period of time.  The cover provided by our insurer MetLife does not have any exclusions in relation to the coronavirus.  Please note, however, that the cover provided does not cover you being made redundant, taking unpaid leave or having your hours reduced.

Changes to your employment (such as changes to roles, responsibilities, tenure or duties) MAY result in changes to your insurance, particularly total and permanent disablement and / or  income protection insurance.  Naturally, we cannot fully describe every member’s individual circumstances here.  We encourage members to contact the helpline on 1800 060 215 should they have specific questions about their insurance cover.        

There is no change to the way claims are assessed.  Given the current unusual circumstances, the Trustee and our insurer are both working hard to ensure claims are assessed as promptly as possible, making use of technology whenever practical.   

You can find out more about insurance cover, including how to make a claim here and in the Child Care Super Insurance Guide

It’s important to be aware of the implications withdrawing your super could have on the insurance cover you may have with the Fund.

If your balance is reduced to zero, or if there is insufficient money in your account to pay the next insurance fee, your cover will be cancelled.

If your cover ceases because there is insufficient money in your Child Care Super account to pay the next insurance fee, cover can be reinstated within six months of the insurance cover lapsing provided all outstanding insurance fees are received within 6 months of cover ending.

For any reinstated cover, you must be in Active Employment on the reinstatement date, otherwise New Events cover will apply until you return to active employment for 30 consecutive days or you successfully apply to our Insurer for Full Cover.

Coronavirus scam warning

Please be aware that there has been an increasing number of reported coronavirus scams in Australia, including phishing emails, SMS messages and phone calls supposedly from government agencies, super funds and other trusted organisations. The key ones appear to relate to the release of super and scammers attempting to get people to pay a fee for services or provide sensitive personal information over the phone.

As detailed above, the ATO is managing all claims for the early release of super directly through the myGov website. There are no fees associated with this scheme and no authorised third parties to help with the process.  

If you receive any calls or messages of this nature, hang up. If you suspect someone is trying to access your super savings or defraud you in any way, report it to the ATO on 13 10 20, or the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) on 1300 300 630.

We are examining all claims closely to prevent potential frauds.  Members may be asked to provide additional verification of their identity.  This may delay the processing of some claims.

Contact us today

1800 060 215


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Important Documents

Download PDFAustralian Government Fact Sheet
Early Release of Super
Download PDFAustralian Government
Fact Sheet Income Support