AvSuper COVID-19 updates
Updated on 6 April 2020
We’ve established this dedicated web page to provide information to AvSuper members about our response to COVID-19 and the impact, where relevant, on superannuation.
We will update this page as more information becomes available to keep you informed so please check here regularly or subscribe to our social media pages (see links below) to be notified of updates.
Please remember that AvSuper will never email or text you asking for your password or account details. We suggest you read our keeping your AvSuper account secure fact sheet and contact us if in doubt about any messages received.
Reduced minimum withdrawals for income streams
Usually, you must withdraw a minimum percentage of your account each financial year. The exact minimum percentage depends on your age (refer to our website if you are unsure what percentage currently applies to you). For 2019-20 and 2020-21, you can now chose to withdraw half as much.
In fact, if you have already withdrawn at least half of your minimum drawdown this year, you don’t have to withdraw any more in the current financial year. You cannot, however, re-contribute any excess amounts into your income stream.
We are writing to all of our income stream members to explain how this measure is being implemented, and you can read about your options here.
Early access to superannuation
Legislation has now passed to enable some people access to some of their superannuation to help cope with the financial impact of COVID-19.
Based on Government’s fact sheet we understand that eligible members will be able to make one withdrawal of up to $10,000 before 30 June 2020 and one between 1 July and 24 September 2020. To apply for these withdrawals, members must log into MyGov and follow the ATO instructions – no application fees apply and there is no other way to apply. Once approved, the ATO will direct us to pay the money to members. Currently, applications will be accepted from 20 April 2020 through MyGov or the ATO.
To be eligible for this early access, you must meet at least one of the following conditions:
- unemployed, or
- eligible for a job seeker payment, youth allowance for job seekers, 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; or
– 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.
Please note that while making a withdrawal will be possible, it is still advisable to consider if this would be in your best interests as any withdrawal may crystallise losses in markets and will reduce your final retirement savings. Our Member Advice Consultants are available to discuss the options and implications for our members.
In the meantime, existing access to superannuation laws still apply.
AvSuper is continuing to follow the guidance from international and local health authorities and we are responding according to our pandemic plan. As at 6 April 2020, we can confirm that AvSuper has not had any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in any of our locations.
The ongoing health and safety of our people while also continuing our service commitments to our members remains our priority. This includes reviewing our systems, protocols and operations management on a daily basis.
We want to assure you that we are working to minimise disruption to our various member services. Our office is now unattended, and our team is managing remote work practices well. We remain available for member contact and for usual processes of managing your investments and administering your account(s). Please note this may mean we call you back on an unfamiliar number.
If you cannot reach us via 1300 128 751, we encourage you to:
- Leave a voice message for us to return your call as soon as possible. Our team will be able to return your call from remote locations, so while there may be short delays in call backs (depending on call volumes), we will be able to return your call
- Use the Call Me back function on our website and again someone from our team will be able to contact you, generally at the time that suits you (if you provide your preferences!)
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Our member services staff will remain able to reply to your emails during business hours
- Use our AvChat function on our website for an online chat with one of our team members during business hours.
We will remain focussed on our members during this challenging time but acknowledge that some members may experience delays – thank you for your patience in these unprecedented times. We will continue to provide updates to members via email, via updates to this web page and on our social media sites.