The impacts of the Coronavirus and early access to your super


Essential information from the Australian Government

As part of the Government’s economic response to coronavirus, the Australian Government has recently proposed changes to superannuation legislation 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, prior to 31 December 2020.

These payments will be tax free and are proposed to commence mid- April 2020.

Am I eligible?

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.

People accessing their superannuation will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

Key information

  • If you are in financial stress as a result of coronavirus you may be able to access up to $10,000 of your superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21, prior to 31 December 2020
  • You can apply for early access from mid-April 2020 until 31 December 2020
  • You must apply directly through ESSSuper
  • Withdrawals will be tax-free
  • Withdrawals will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments

Download the Government’s fact sheet – Early access to super

Temporary reduction to superannuation minimum drawdown rates

In recognition of the impact of coronavirus on global financial markets, the Government is helping retirees manage the adverse impact on their superannuation balance by proposing the temporary reduction to superannuation minimum drawdown requirements.

The proposed reductions are for account-based pensions and similar products by 50% for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years. The minimum drawdown percentage for each age group is shown below:

Age Minimum payment % Reduced rates by 50% for the 19/20 & 20/21 income years
Under 65 4% 2%
65-74 5% 2.5%
75-79 6% 3%
80-84 7% 3.5%
85-89 9% 4.5%
90-94 11% 5.5%
95 or more 14% 7%

The Government has also proposed reducing both the upper and lower social security deeming rates by a further 0.25% s in addition to the 0.5% reduction to both rates announced on 12 March 2020.

Download the Government’s fact sheet – Providing support for retirees

How can I elect to take up the reduced minimum drawdown rate or to change my existing drawdown rate?

If you wish to elect the new minimum drawdown rate or to change your existing drawdown rate, please complete the Income Stream Payment Change Form (E137) (PDF 76.8KB) . The completed form can be posted back to us or emailed to info@esssuper.com.au

We’re here to help

If you have any questions, please email info@esssuper.com.au with ‘MSC’ at the start of the subject line, or alternatively please call our Member Service Centre on 1300 650 161 and we’ll be happy to help.

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