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Revealed: Truth of what Aussies spent $17,441 super on

Eliza Bavin
·2-min read
a male taking money out of the valet.
(Source: Getty)

Aussies who accessed the Government's early access super scheme did not go on a spending spree, like some had expected.

New data released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found most Australians who accessed the scheme used it to pay down their mortgage, rent or household bills.

The ABS data revealed that those who accessed their super twice – once in the first tranche prior to 30 June 2020 and the second after 1 July 2020 – withdrew an average of $17,441 from their retirement savings.

“The average single withdrawal was $7,728 for the first opportunity, and $7,536 for the second,” said ABS director of household economic resource surveys Dean Adams.

And while the ATO had previously warned Aussies accessing their super early could result in a $25,000 fine if they failed to meet the eligibility criteria, it appears most put the money to good use.

The ABS data revealed that most people who accessed their superannuation early due to financial hardship, used it to pay their mortgage, rent or other household bills.

29 per cent mainly used it to pay their mortgage or rent, while 27 per cent used it for household bills.

Another 15 per cent used it to pay credit card or personal debts, while around one in eight people (13 per cent) added it to their savings.

When the early access super scheme was open, it was found that some individuals were spending the money they had withdrawn on clothing, furniture and alcohol, sparking concerns that the scheme was allowing people to spend their retirement savings unnecessarily.

Previously, the ATO had contacted around 5,000 Australians from the first tranche and prompted them to carefully review their eligibility before applying for the second tranche.

They also stopped 2,343 applications for investigation and cancelled 130 applications before payments were made.

“We know that the overwhelming majority of Australians are honest and we want to see this assistance reach those who need it most,” an ATO spokesperson told Yahoo Finance at the time.

The ABS data also revealed that around one in five households (19 per cent) had someone receiving the JobKeeper payment through their employer, or in their own business.

This comes ahead of next month's unemployment figures, which will be the first indication of employment numbers since the JobKeeper scheme wrapped up at the end of March.

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