Early release from super due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on the nation’s retirement savings. More than 2.4 million people applied to withdraw money from their superannuation fund between April 20 and June 21, 2020 under the COVID-19 Superannuation Early Release Scheme.

Super funds paid out $17.1 billion, an average of $7492 per person, according to data provided by 177 funds to industry regulator the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

A second run of applications will be made in the first week of July. Processing time is likely to take two weeks. APRA is releasing a weekly update on the scheme.

Concerns are being expressed that COVID withdrawals mean people are eroding their retirement savings and will suffer in their senior years. 

At the end of March superannuation funds held a total $2.7 trillion in assets. This had fallen 0.3% in value on the December quarter due to COVID-related losses.

June 2020

Superannuation starting to replace age pension

More Australians plan to live on their superannuation savings rather than the age pension.

When the Australian Bureau of Statistics surveyed 3.8 million workers on their plans for retirement, it found 53% of the group – all people aged over 45 years – expected their main source of retirement income to be super, an annuity or an allocated pension.

Only 19% of those who have actually retired tapped superannuation as their main source of income.

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