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The Government has introduced a temporary change allowing members affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) early access to part of their super savings. If eligible, you may be able to access up to $10,000 of your super before 1 July 2020, and also access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 to 24 September 2020 by applying online through myGov. 

Applications for the early release of your super are now available by logging in to your myGov account. If your application is approved, you will receive notification from the ATO who will then pass on the payment details to Mercy Super for processing. It may take up to five business days from the date of this notification for your payment to be processed.

If you don’t already have a myGov account you can set one up by selecting the Create an account’ button – applications can only be made through the ATO, not by contacting Mercy Super directly.

Note – The ATO is actively ensuring these payments are going to eligible people who are doing the right thing. Compliance measures have been put in place to ensure integrity of the system’s intent with consequences where it is being deliberately exploited. You can find out more here.

To apply for early release you must satisfy any one or more of the following requirements:  

  • you are unemployed; or 
  • you are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance;  

or, on or after 1 January 2020: 

  • you were made redundant; 
  • your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more; or  
  • if you are a sole trader — your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.  

No – you are only able to access up to $10,000 once in a financial year. So if you are eligible and withdraw $10,000 from your super prior to 1 July under the temporary COVID-19 early release provisions, you cannot make any additional claim under existing financial hardship grounds. 

Similarly, if you claim a second $10,000 after 1 July 2020 you cannot make another claim under existing financial hardship grounds in the 2020-21 financial year. 

No – you can only make one claim in a financial year. For example, if you felt you didn’t need the full $10,000 and only claimed $5,000, you cannot make an additional claim for the remaining amount. 

No – the entire application process including assessment of your eligibility and collection of application details (including your bank account) is done through the ATO using your myGov account. If approved, the ATO will send payment instructions to your nominated super fund/s for payment. 

Yes – you can nominate one or more of your current super fund accounts you want the payments to be drawn from that can be viewed through your myGov account. 

IMPORTANT: The current super account balance displayed on your myGov account is not up to date – it is usually the balance in your account at 30 June 2019 and your current account balance will be different to these amounts. We suggest you log in to Member Online to obtain the current balance of your Mercy Super account and likewise for any other accounts you may have to make sure there is enough in these accounts to support your requested payment. 

No. Mercy Super does not charge an exit or withdrawal fee and does not apply buy/sell margins to your super account. In addition, early release payments made under these temporary COVID-19 provisions will be tax free.

Any tips and where do I go for further information?

While super is designed to help people save for retirement, along with the Government we recognise that for those significantly financially affected by COVID-19, accessing some of their super today may outweigh the benefits of maintaining those savings until retirement. 

We’ll do everything we can to facilitate any early release payments for our members and have worked with our service providers to make this new process as smooth as possible. 

Our main tip for members is to be wary of fraudsters and those that do not have your best interests at heart. There are already cases where people have been approached to help facilitate early release payments, usually with the ambition to access your personal details and enable payment to their bank account. Neither Mercy Super nor the ATO will contact you directly to initiate any payment – so only make your application and provide your details through your myGov account. 

We will provide further details as they come to hand – including anticipated processing times. In the meantime, refer to the ATO’s website – https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/Withdrawing-and-using-your-super/Early-access-to-your-super/