As you may have seen, as part of the government’s stimulus package, you will be allowed to withdraw from your superannuation account if you meet one of the following criteria:
- You are unemployed
- Eligible for JobSeeker payment or other social benfits
- If you’ve been made redundant or have had your hours reduced by at least 20% since January 2020.
If you are eligible, you will be able to withdraw $10,000 before 30 June 2020, and another $10,000 between 1 June 2020 and 24 September 2020 — so $20,000 in total.
What would this mean for my retirement?
We understand the COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of people under financial stress, and you may be struggling to pay for basic necessities. HSA asks you to think really carefully about whether or not you want to do this, and we want to make sure you understand the impact that this will have on your retirement.
These are the key things you need to consider if you’re looking to withdraw from your superannuation fund early:
Crystallising loses — Right now, investment markets are pretty low, because of all the uncertainty and stress surrounding COVID-19. If you withdraw money from your account now, you won’t have the chance to build up the value of your fund when the markets do start increasing.
Losing the compounding effect — superannuation funds don’t just grow when you put money into them. The interest that you earn is added to the fund, and keeps on growing all the time. So for example, say you had $10,000 in a fund that earned 10% interest. You’ve earned an extra $1,000 that is added to your fund. So next year, if you were to earn 10% interest on your $11,000 fund, you would earn an extra $1,100. That’s how compounding interest works and over forty years, it can really add up. A $20,000 withdrawal could result in several hundred thousand less over the course of a person’s working life.
Losing access to insurance cover — some super funds only provide insurance if you have met their minimum balance amount. If you withdraw money early, it could mean you lose access to that insurance cover.
If you have any questions about superannuation, HSA and your super fund providers are here to help! Speak to us if you’re not sure whether you’re receiving the right amount in super, if your employer has said they don’t need to provide super right now, or if you’re having trouble tracking down any accounts.
But if you want specific financial advice about your personal situation, you need to contact your industry superannuation fund for direct advice.