10 super funds still accounting for 60% of early release payments

16 June 2020

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has confirmed that 10 superannuation funds are still doing the bulk of the heavy lifting when it comes to the Federal Government’s hardship early superannuation scheme.

The latest APRA found that the 10 funds with the highest number of applications received from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) had made 1.33 million payments worth a total of $9.76 billion with the average payment from these funds being $7,441.

According to the data, the 10 funds are accounting for well over 60% of the early release payments.

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Over the week to 7 June, 2020, the data pointed to superannuation funds making paying to 1667,000 members, bringing the total number of payments made to approximately two million since inception.

“The total value of payments during the week was $1.3 billion, with $14.8 billion paid since inception,” it said. “The average payment made over the period since inception is $7,475.”

The 10 funds continue to reflect both their scale and their exposure to hard-pressed sectors of the industry and include AustralianSuper, AMP Limited, Cbus, Hostplus, REST, Suncorp, HESTA, MLC, CFS and ANZ.

A number of superannuation fund chief executives have told Money Management that they are surprised by the continuing high levels of use of the early access arrangements.

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As we are now finding out following the initial wave of early release data, the figures in relation to increased online gambling and alcohol and cigarette expenditure has increased.
As we near the 1st July, we can only expect those who have already accessed monies in the first round and who have funds remaining will be tempted to again access as much as allowed and again plow the money into meaningless, loss making activities and adverse health related addictions.
So, when people have pilfered their retirement monies and have increased their potential for long term serious health problems placing strain on the public purse for social security and Aged Pension and the struggling public health system, it will be the taxpayer left to clean up the mess with increased taxes applied to their incomes in order to support those who chose to obviate their responsibility.
The early release of superannuation is flawed as no restrictions or parameters have been placed for the purpose of withdrawal and whilst the logistics of monitoring this on a large scale is immense and would have slowed the process considerably, many who have elected to access these funds have simply wasted the money.
The Govt will argue that it has put the money back through the economy during a difficult period, but at what real cost?
For those who have chosen to pay for illegal drugs with all or a portion of their withdrawn funds, this of course does not find its way back through the normal channels of commerce.
There is data to show that communities have saved millions and millions of dollars during the COVID-19 lockdown period when poker machines, casino's and pubs containing gaming products were closed down.
Now that these venues are opening back up again, and the second opportunity for early access is coming soon, they will be significant beneficiaries of the available funds.
Doesn't this just seem to be wrong on every level in regard to the very purpose of accumulating monies for retirement purposes.
This is not about telling people what to do with their money, however, under normal circumstances, the release of super monies due to financial hardship is monitored closely and must satisfy strict criteria.
Perhaps more thought need to be applied in relation to the consequences of this Govt strategy in the first place.

with job keeper and rest of the small business stimulus, was there really that many people struggling or was it just easy money? If that many needed it to 'survive', then how do they do any other time. Nevertheless, maybe all the UBER drivers and UBER eats idiots making 1.5 their normal revenue for not working, should have been something the government was smarter about. All they needed to do was stop working to get paid.
How about paying 75-80% of your income. Seems a waste that so many make more from not working, yet 168k people need to withdraw $7k from super. Look at helping those really in need more, than the ones that profited from a pandemic. Plenty of small business people with a few employers, increased profits. Especially, for example ACCOUNTANTS. Why? Because so many other small business people needed help with JobKeeper.
Fairness in all circumstances in the best policy, particularly when in this case it doesn't seem hard to do.

Wow, didn’t realise Suncorp were so big. Perhaps they should merge with QSuper rather than the other mob.

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