Super news - April 2020

Info for members
13 Apr 2020
2 min read

In this article:

Government announcements regarding super

On 22 March, the Federal Government announced 2 temporary super initiatives in response to the economic impact caused by the Coronavirus.

They are:

  • allowing early access of your super, and
  • reducing minimum drawdown requirements for pension members.

Early access to your super

The new emergency measures allow people in financial stress to access some of their super. If you’re eligible, you’ll be allowed to apply for up to $10,000 of your super this financial year (2019-20), and a further $10,000 next financial year (2020-21).

Applications to access your super will open from 20 April 2020.  Time limits apply. To apply, go directly to the ATO through the myGov website. Please don’t apply to UniSuper directly. You’ll need to certify you meet the eligibility criteria. For more information, please refer to the ATO website.

If you’re in financial distress and considering withdrawing your super, please consider this option carefully. Check if you’re eligible for any other forms of support. Taking money from your account now could leave you worse off in the long run. Additionally, any insurance cover you have may be cancelled if there’s not enough money in your account to cover the cost of insurance premiums. If you need help or want to discuss how early withdrawal could impact you, please speak to UniSuper Advice.

Reduction in minimum drawdown rates (for Pension members)

For many retirees, the significant losses in financial markets as a result of the Coronavirus are having a negative effect on the account balance of those in pension phase.

To assist retirees, the Government has reduced the minimum annual payment required for account-based pensions. Under the temporary measures, the minimum amount of income you’re required to take has been reduced by half and applies for the rest of the 2019-20 financial year as well as the 2020-21 financial year.

This new rate is available to Flexi Pension and Transition to retirement (TTR) pension members.

Reductions have also been made to the minimum annual payments for term-allocated pensions in the 2019-20 and 2020-2021 financial years. Please contact us for more details on those changes.

These changes mean you can choose to reduce the payment amounts you receive this financial year. However, if you want your payments to stay the same until 30 June 2020, there’s no need to do anything. We’ll contact all affected members to see what they want to do next financial year.

If you’d like to take advantage of the new rate, you can either:

Please make it clear on your form if you’d like the change implemented before 30 June 2020.

Once completed, please send the form to pensionsmailbox@unisuper.com.au.

Claim a tax deduction on your voluntary contributions online

Great news - if you’ve made voluntary after-tax contributions to your super and are planning to claim a tax deduction, you can claim online. Simply log in to your account and complete the short online form before you lodge your tax return.

If your notice is valid, we’ll send you a confirmation. Make sure you keep this for your tax return, and when you do lodge the return, simply state the amount you’re claiming as a deduction.

We recommend you consider seeking advice if claiming a tax deduction. The voluntary contributions you claim as a deduction are treated as concessional contributions, so consider whether you’ll exceed the contributions caps that apply across all your super accounts.

Read more about claiming a tax deduction for your voluntary contributions (PDF, 544KB).

Don’t have an online account? You can register now.

Regulations change

The following change was made to our Regulations – one of the documents which governs how our fund operates. This change applies to certain types of UniSuper members and took effect from 1 April 2020.

Minimum balance to be retained

The minimum amount which must be retained in an Accumulation 1, Accumulation 2 or Personal Account following a partial withdrawal, transfer or rollover to another Fund has increased from $5,000 to $6,000. This limit was imposed in response to the Protecting Your Super legislative reforms and to align to Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (SISR).

We’re bringing our education online

We’ve cancelled our 2020 seminar program for now, but we’re working to bring you the same quality education content online. You’ll be able to see and hear our team of experts deliver on super and pension topics, relevant to your interests and needs.

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