Early release headed towards $38 billion

AustralianSuper hostplus REST Sunsuper Cbus HESTA BT mlc OnePath NM Super early release superannuation

8 December 2020
| By Mike |
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With less than a month to go before the Government’s hardship early release superannuation (ERS) comes to an end Australia’s largest industry superannuation fund, AustralianSuper, is about to rack up over $5 billion in early release payments to members.

What is more, one of the funds hardest hit by the early lockdowns in sport and hospitality, HostPlus, has racked up just over $3 billion as has big retailing fund, REST along with big Queensland-based fund, SunSuper.

The latest data released by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) suggests that by the time the clock ticks over to the early release scheme cut-off on 31 December, 2020 superannuation funds will have paid out close to $38 billion.

Importantly for funds such as AustralianSuper, early release outflows of over $5 billion compare to annual inflows of $16.1 billion recorded in 2018-19, meaning that the Government’s scheme has gone close to cleaving a third out of the fund’s inflows.

According to the latest APRA data covering the period to the 29 November, the following represent the top 10 most affected funds and their total outflows.

AustralianSuper                                       $4,902,528,111

HostPlus                                                  $3,038,654,309

REST                                                       $3,252,371,402

Sunsuper                                                  $3,587,408,421

Cbus                                                         $2,277,581,740

HESTA                                                     $1,775,889,145

BT                                                             $1,653,989,418

MLC                                                         $1,311,097,010

OnePath                                                    $1,065,225,487

NM Super                                                 $1,045,102,828

What that reveals is that the Top 10 funds account for 60% of all early release drawdowns with AustralianSuper and Sunsuper emerging as having been most exposed to second round drawdowns with each recording over $1 billion, while Hostplus appears to have benefited from the opening up of hospitality venues and paying out $912,556,574 in the second round.

Superannuation fund executives have been bracing themselves for a late surge in early release payments as members seek to accommodate the costs associated with Christmas.

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