COVID19 Superannuation early access

Superannuation fund members must generally wait until they reach their retirement age to access their super. There are some exceptions to this rule, but a full super benefit is only paid where a member satisfies one of the following grounds:

  • permanent or temporary incapacity
  • terminal illness
  • death of member

Members can also obtain a limited amount of benefits on the following grounds. However, eligibility is severely restricted:

  • Severe financial hardship
  • Compassionate grounds
  • Preserved benefit account balance under $200
  • First home super saver scheme
  • Temporary resident departing Australia

COVID-19 early release of super

In recognition of the disruption COVID-19 pandemic has caused to people’s lives, the government has introduced special measures for members to access up to $10,000 for 2019-2020 and another $10,000 in 2020–21 from their superannuation.

In order to be eligible for the special measure the member:

  1. Must have been made redundant; or
  2. Their working hours were reduced by 20% or more (including to zero); or
  3. If the member is a sole trader, their business was suspended or there was a reduction in turnover of 20% or more (partners in a partnership are not eligible unless the partner satisfies any other of the eligibility).

Don’t get caught in Superannuation tax avoidance schemes

ATO is acutely aware of claims and schemes designed to exploit the super system. To ensure integrity and compliance, the ATO is actively using multiple data sources and many other tools at its disposal to constantly weed out ineligible and false claims, tax avoidance schemes etc.

Therefore, when applying under the COVID-19 early release of super benefit (or any other permitted circumstance), even greater scrutiny of the claim application by the ATO is to expected.

 

How can Waterhouse Lawyers help you?

Our team is experienced in liaising with the ATO and understands the superannuation system. If you are considering early access of your super, received an audit or preliminary enquiry from the ATO or are concerned about a scheme, please contact us on 02 9252 8746 or tania@waterhouselawyers.com.au. We are able to help you through the difficult process.

 

Category: Superannuation