Early access to superannuation due to COVID-19

The Australian Government allowed eligible individuals affected by COVID-19 to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019/20 and a further $10,000 in 2020/21.

Applications for the early release of superannuation due to COVID-19 were made to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and not to LGIAsuper. 

Applications for the 2019/20 financial year closed on 30 June 2020. Applications for the 2020/21 financial year closed on 31 December 2020.

Update, 13 January 2021: Some LGIAsuper members who applied for early release are required to provide further information before payments can be made. If you have received correspondence from LGIAsuper about your application, please contact us as soon as possible on 1800 444 396.

Eligibility

To apply for early release of superannuation, you must have satisfied one or more of the Government’s eligibility requirements:

  • You are unemployed.
  • You are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (including single and partnered payments), special benefit, or farm household allowance.
  • On or after 1 January 2020, any of the following describes your situation: 
    • you were made redundant
    • your working hours were reduced by 20% or more
    • if you are a sole trader, your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20% or more.

Applications

Applications for early access to superannuation were made through the ATO. LGIAsuper is unable to process any applications.

If your application to the ATO was successful in meeting the Government’s requirements, the ATO will have issued you with a determination confirming eligibility. The ATO will also have provided LGIAsuper with a copy of this determination. LGIAsuper then commenced a process to make the payment to you as soon as possible. 

Consider the impacts of early access

a. Your retirement savings

We encourage you to consider the impact that early access to your superannuation may have on your future retirement.

Your superannuation grows during your working life to help fund your retirement, so any money taken out now could change your lifestyle after you finish work. Depending on how close you are to retirement, an early release of superannuation could mean you miss out on future growth from long-term compound interest and investment growth.

Everyone’s circumstances are different. We recommend you explore all COVID-19 hardship-related options that may be available to you, such as:

We also recommend you seek financial advice before making your decision on early access to superannuation. You can call us on 1800 444 396 to arrange an appointment with one of our financial advisers at no additional cost to discuss options that may be available to you.

b. Your insurance

Please note that if you have LGIAsuper insurance, your premium payments are deducted from your account balance. If you are withdrawing from your superannuation, you will need to leave enough money in your account to pay your insurance premiums if you wish to remain covered.

To review your insurance cover and premium you can log in to your account. If you do not have internet access you can call us on 1800 444 396.

Scam warning

The Australian Government has warned that scammers are taking advantage of people impacted by COVID-19, attempting to steal their superannuation or charging fees for services that are not required. Scammers can target you online, by phone or email.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been handling the early release of superannuation through its myGov website (https://my.gov.au). There has been no need to involve another company or to pay any fees for the ATO’s application process.

We urge our members to be vigilant about online, phone and email scams. Be wary of anyone claiming to be from a bank, superannuation fund or financial services provider. The Australian Government has published useful advice on its Scamwatch and Moneysmart websites.

Protecting our members’ superannuation is our highest priority. If you are concerned about anything, please contact LGIAsuper at 1800 444 396.

ATO investigations

The ATO is tackling illegal activity and behaviour related to early access to superannuation. It is taking action against people who are exploiting the system. Information about the ATO’s compliance measures, investigative powers and a confidential tip-off hotline is available on the ATO website.

Tax

Eligible members with early access to superannuation will not need to pay tax on the amounts released, and the money withdrawn will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments. These amounts will not be included in any income or means tests.

Further information

For further information please refer to: