ASIC extends hardship relief for frozen funds

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has provided hardship relief for frozen funds that are in the process of winding up.

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ASIC will facilitate operators of frozen funds making hardship payments to members.

The relief is an extension of that granted since October 2008 to improve investor access funds.

Relief can be provided on hardship grounds (eg, if the member is unable to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses), compassionate grounds (eg, if that the member needs to meet medical costs for serious illness, funeral expenses or to prevent foreclosure) and permanent incapacity. Relief can also be provided if the member is unemployed for at least three months without other means.

There is a cap on hardship withdrawals for each member of $100,000 each calendar year, and an investor can make up to four hardship withdrawals each calendar year.

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