Media Releases

30 June 2020

Compulsory superannuation delivers for younger Australians in time of crisis

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) today released a report into the COVID-19 early release of superannuation stimulus scheme.

Nearly 2.5 million Australians are likely to access early release before 30 June, and there could be nearly as many again requesting a new or additional early release of superannuation after 1 July 2020.

The scheme has therefore provided significant financial support to millions of Australians when they needed it most, demonstrating the significant role that superannuation plays for individuals and the broader economy.

In fact, the maximum of $20,000 available over two tranches per employee under early release exceeds the total maximum payments per employee under the Federal Government’s JobKeeper stimulus payment of $19,500 (which is over six months).

ASFA CEO, Dr Martin Fahy, said: “Superannuation has played a key role in helping Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Without superannuation, the great bulk of Australian workers would not have had any significant financial assets to draw upon during this time of economic adversity.”

ASFA’s early release report key findings include:

  • Australians aged under 35 year have accessed the early super scheme in the greatest numbers compared with other age groups
  • Residents of Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory have applied for early release of superannuation in greater numbers compared to other states, reflecting the dramatic impact that COVID-19 has had on their tourism industry.
  • 15 per cent of the total number of individuals with a superannuation account and over 20 per cent of the labour force are expected to receive early release payments from Super
  • In 2017-18 female wage and salary earners aged under 35 had a total of $53.5 billion in superannuation, while the equivalent figure for males was $69.8 billion
  • Compulsory superannuation has resulted in these employees aged under 35 having additional savings approaching $100 billion in total, that is around $22,000 per person.
  • ASFA analysis of ATO data indicates that less than 5 per cent of Australian wage and salary earners receive rent from an investment property and under 10 per cent have dividends from shares over $200 a year.
  • About 25 per cent of Australian households have less than $1,000 in cash savings.
  • Compulsory superannuation has resulted in these employees aged under 35 having additional savings approaching $100 billion in total, that is around $22,000 per person.

ASFA CEO, Dr Martin Fahy, said: “The erosion of retirement balances through the early release scheme reinforces the need to move as soon as possible to a Superannuation Guarantee rate of 12 per cent in order to provide adequate retirement savings for individuals, particularly women and younger Australians”.

For further information, please contact:
Jacqui Maddock, 0451 949 300.

About ASFA
ASFA is the peak policy, research and advocacy body for Australia’s superannuation industry. It is a not-for-profit, sector-neutral, and non-party political, national organisation. ASFA’s mission is to continuously improve the superannuation system, so all Australians can enjoy a comfortable and dignified retirement.