Four super funds receive over 100k early release applications

11 May 2020

AustralianSuper, Hostplus, Sunsuper and REST have all received over 100,000 early superannuation payments from members suffering financial hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data. 

Data from the Australian Prudential and Regulation Authority (APRA) ending 3 May, 2020, showed AustralianSuper had 142,475 applications, Hostplus had 127,409, Sunsuper had 111,103, and REST had 106,441. 

However, Sunsuper had paid the most amount of applications at 108,280 for a total of $784,785,368. This was followed by AustralianSuper paying 99,350 members for a total of $763,656,262, Hostplus paid 99,350 members for a total of $661,94,799, and REST paid 93,731 members for a total of $584,293,806. 

Sunsuper was also the fastest at paying members with 100% of members being paid within five business days. This was followed by 99.8% from Hostplus, 99.1% from REST, and 98.9% from AustralianSuper. 

Overall, the data also showed that 142 out of 177 funds that submitted data made early release payments. 

“Of all of the funds that have submitted, 117 (82%) made more than 90% of payments within the five business days guideline indicated by APRA,” APRA said. 

“That includes 57 funds that have made all payments within five business days, 24 that paid 99% within that timeframe, and another 18 funds that paid 98% within five business days.  

“Further, with very few exceptions, all payments to members have been made within 10 business days from receipt of applications from the Australian Taxation Office [ATO].” 

APRA deputy chair Helen Rowell said: “These figures demonstrate superannuation trustees understand the importance of getting payments as quickly as possible to members who may be enduring financial hardship. 

“This is a new scheme, and some funds have received tens of thousands of applications, so an average payment time so far of 3.1 days following receipt of applications from the ATO is a positive story. 

“We recognise, however, that it may be both necessary and appropriate for trustees to take longer in some cases. This is no doubt frustrating to those awaiting payments, but the recent attempted fraud being investigated by the Australian Federal Police emphasises that care is needed to ensure payments go to the right people.” 

The 3.1 day average payment time is an increased revision of the previous figure of 1.6 days APRA published last week.

APRA noted that in addition to concerns about possible fraud, other reasons that payments may take longer than five business days included: 

  • Incomplete information provided by the ATO; 
  • Application errors by members that require clarification; 
  • Verification of mismatches between member information provided by the ATO and that held by the fund; and  
  • Defined benefits members whose applications require additional processing. 



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I wonder how many more clients couldn't actually get through to their fund's support line to ask for help.
Thee funds are putting their clients on hold for 40 minutes and automatically cutting them off if not answered. Great for the call statistics but very frustrating for clients. Maybe the the Industry funds could cut back on football team sponsorship deals and corporate boxes at the MCG and redirect some money to their call centres and servicing clients.

As this is data at the end of week 2, there shouldn't be any payments that have taken longer than 10 business days to be paid, as funds hadn't had requests for 10 days by then. However there a lot of members who got paid in week 3 that had applied and been approved by the ATO on day 1, so we outside of 10 days.

What is more interesting in terms of performance by funds is the "Proportion of applications paid" information and what would be even better is if there was a days breakdown of the "Applications in progress". These are the payments that members have been complaining about to contact centres, on some fund's Facebook pages and online forums.

14 business days of waiting after receiving confirmation from Rest of my approval for early funds release, 2 written formal complaints to Rest and over six hours of waiting on the phone with no one answering. Online chat is "busy" all the time. Complaint lodged with AFCA today but am not holding my breath for Rest to do anything. Might be faster to transfer all my funds to another Super fund and start the process all over again.

Well, I must say I am utterly surprised to read of such a high percentage of members from Australian Super who had been paid. My application was approved by ATO on the 22/4/20 and till date (11/5/20) nothing has been paid into my nominated bank account. This initiative has not been seamless during these unprecedented times, though governmental measures have been laid out to facilitate this. It is pointless if a superfund is unable to fulfil the timeline required to meet its obligations. There are many other members who have commented the same on Australian Super's Facebook page. Can anyone from the fund tell us when we will be receiving OUR money that we applied for ?

Still waiting for confirmation regarding super

With Australian Super, got mine within the timeframe. No issues.Very impressed with the seamless timeframe.

Good for you. Maybe now would be a good time to consider getting the rest of your money out of that fund? Plenty of other options around, with less of the risky illiquid and questionably valued assets, and without the profits from despicable-ME Bank :)

Dont know where they get this write up seeing alot of people are still waiting on payments. How about adressing that??

I too got ATO approval on 22 April but hVe as yet heard nothing from Australian Super. They haven't responded to my on line enquiries or answer my phone calls. An absolute shambles! They should be penalised for such awful customer service.

Hi Peter,

Thats terrible!! I got approval on the 24th and waiting but you even earlier they are hopeless!! Yes, now they arnt taking phone calls and replying through messenger so try that....still very unprofessional all messages come through automated too absoluting disgusting Ive made a complaint to afca wonder if they will be of any help...time will tell as I think I wont be the only one!

Hmm.. Maybe someone from Money Management can ask AustrLian Super what's going on...

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