Almost half a million Australians have opted to dip into their superannuation early, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced on Thursday.
The Australian Taxation Office has approved 456,000 applications for early access to superannuation under the government’s second stimulus measure, totalling around $3.8 billion, Frydenberg said.
“Those applications are now with the superannuation funds for their payment over the next five days,” he said.
The average withdrawal is around $8,000, the treasurer said.
The early access to super measures allow Aussies to withdraw $10,000 from their superannuation in this financial year, and another $10,000 over the 2020-21 financial year.
It comes despite multiple warnings from experts that accessing super could be more detrimental in the long run.
“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,” Industry Super Australia chief executive Bernie Dean said.
275,000 businesses opt for JobKeeper
Almost 1 million businesses have registered their interest for the $1,500 per fortnight JobKeeper subsidy, and in just three days, around 275,000 businesses have filled in formal applications for the subsidy, the treasurer revealed.
“Around half of those are sole traders,” Frydenberg said.
All sectors have been affected, he added.
“[The applications] cover a whole range of sectors - technical, scientific, financial services, construction, retail, accommodation and the like.”
The treasurer also announced the ATO has already paid out around $3 billion to 177,000 businesses employing 2.1 million Australians as part of its cashflow measures.
Frydenberg said the ATO was ahead of the game in terms of paying out those subsidies.
“The ATO have done an outstanding job in processing so many claims so quickly,” he said.
“They have paid out support to businesses ahead of what they thought would be the start date on 28 April – they’re ahead of schedule.”