More than half a million Australians applied for the early super access scheme between 29 June and 5 July, and over 300,000 of those have applied for a second time, new data has revealed.
The early access super scheme was announced as part of the government’s second stimulus package to provide Australians hard-hit by the coronavirus crisis with an alternate source of cash.
Aussies were allowed to withdraw up to $10,000 during the 2019-20 financial year, and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.
Fresh figures from prudential regulator APRA have revealed that 346,000 applications for the scheme were from superannuation members applying for a second time.
And Australians dipping into their super a second time are also applying to withdraw more from their super than last round, with the average withdrawal amount being $8,904 compared to $7,476.
So far, 2.54 million early access super payments amounting to $19.1 billion dollars have been made to Australians.
95 per cent of payments were processed within five business days, but APRA warned that processing times could potentially take longer due to high demand.
“High volumes of applications are expected for the start of the second tranche of the COVID-19 Early Release Scheme in early July,” the prudential regulator stated on its website.
“This may impact the processing time for payments being made by funds.”
Not everyone can dip into their super ahead of time; you will have to meet criteria to be deemed eligible to access your super early.
Just two days after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced the second stimulus package, nearly half a million people had applied to raid their retirement funds.
Experts have issued several warnings against dipping into your super fund early.
“Members should tread carefully and only think about cracking open their super after they’ve taken up the extra cash support on offer from the government - super should be the last resort given the impact it can have on your retirement nest egg,” said Industry Super Australia (ISA) chief Bernie Dean.
ISA analysis shows that a 20-year-old woman who accesses the full $20,000 from her super will lose as much as $120,000 by her retirement.
Money expert Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon also said she wasn’t a fan of the scheme.
“I don’t love this,” she said. “So please access your super as a last resort… if the income floor, concessions from your landlord or lender, utilities leniency and a probable dramatic fall in your entertainment spend don’t keep you above water.”
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