Last updated: 3 April 2020

Many of our members will be affected by COVID-19 in the coming weeks and months and, for some, the pandemic will mean a loss of income and financial hardship.  

TWUSUPER will keep you updated about the details about COVID-19 and your super. Please see below for more information and save to your bookmarks. 

Withdrawing your super

The Government has made it easier to access super early if you need financial relief as a result of the disruption caused by COVID-19. A tax-free withdrawal of up to $10,000 will be available from  20 April 2020 and another $10,000 from 1 July 2020.

Treasury has released a detailed fact sheet outlining the process for claiming early access to super.

Eligibility for early withdrawal under the new rules

You will be eligible for Early Release under the new rules if:

  • you are unemployed; or
  • you are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment, special benefit or farm household allowance; or
  • on or after 1 January 2020:
  • you were made redundant
  • your working hours were reduced by 20% or more
  • you are a sole trader whose business was suspended or your turnover reduced by 20% or more

Withdrawals will be tax-free and will not affect Centrelink or Veteran's Affair's payments.

Treasury has released a detailed fact sheet outlining how the process for claiming early access to super.

View fact sheet

Considerations about applying for early release 

To apply for early release through the ATO as a result of COVID-19, you will need to self-certify with the ATO that you have lost income due one of the eligibility criteria listed above. The ATO may cross-reference this information with your Tax Return in future years.

Although the economic disruption as a result of this pandemic is affecting people all around Australia, everybody's experience is unique.

If you're concerned about how withdrawing super early might affect your retirement balance in the years to come, you can discuss it with us. We can give general advice over the phone. Call 1800 222 071 between 8am and 8pm (AEST/AEDT weekdays). Please note that calls may take longer to answer than usual at this busy time.

How to apply for early release due to COVID-19

From 20 April 2020, the Government plans to accept applications for early release online through myGov.  You can set up your MyGov account in advance and the ATO will SMS or email you when applications for early release are open.

Login to MyGov

Retirement Super Pensions

The Government has temporarily changed the deeming and minimum drawdown rates for everyone with an account-based pension (Retirement Super Pension) . This also applies to account-based pensions drawn as part of a Transition to Retirement Strategy (Pre-retirement Super Pension).

Drawdown rate reduced by 50%

The minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions has been reduced by 50% for 2019-20 and 2020-21. This measure may benefit retirees by reducing the need to sell investment assets to fund minimum drawdown requirements. For the full list of drawdown rates, see Working out your pension payments.

See drawdown rates

Changes to the deeming rate

Deeming is the way Government calculates income from financial assets. Deeming assumes that money you have invested in financial assets is earning a certain amount of income regardless of the actual return. 

From 1 May 2020, the upper deeming rate will be 2.25% and the lower deeming rate will be 0.25%. The reductions reflect low interest rates and the impact on savings income. Around 565,000 people on the Age Pension will, on average, receive around $324 more from the Age Pension in the first full year that the reduced rates apply.

Treasury has provided worked examples on how these changes could help a single on a part-pension, and a couple on the full pension.

See worked examples

Market volatility and your super

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, global markets have been more volatile than usual. It’s important to remember that super is a long-term investment. 

Latest update

Please don't visit Government service centres

The Government requests that you don't visit their service centres at this time and to call your doctor if you’re worried you may have COVID-19. You can also contact your state or territory health authority about how to get tested.

You can also call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. The line operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can do most of your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support business online through self-service - so you can avoid long call wait times.

The Department of Health has issued a guide to isolating yourself at home if you need to self-isolate.

The Government page on COVID-19 is updated regularly.

Go to COVID-19 information page

Job seekers and COVID-19

Find out about your mutual obligations if you’re a job seeker affected by COVID-19.

Visit webpage

Are you under home isolation?

You may be able to get a payment from the Government if you can’t work because you’re isolated at home.

Find out more

Other COVID-19 support

There are other organisations that provide information and support if you’re affected by COVID-19.

Available support

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