Media Releases

8 May 2020

ASFA: Super funds deliver $9.4 billion in early release financial hardship payments

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) estimates that Australian super funds had by close of business 7 May made around 1,175,000 individual payments, totalling around $9.4 billion in financial support, as part of the temporary early release of superannuation scheme.

ASFA CEO Dr Martin Fahy said: “Funds have worked cooperatively with government and regulators to change systems to process this unprecedented volume of transactions and ensure early release financial hardship payments have been made quickly and safely”.

Funds have been processing early release requests at an unprecedented rate, from around 665,000 applications in week one to around 290,000 in week 2 to around 250,000 so far in week 3. The Australian Taxation Office is pausing forwarding of applications for today only in order to enhance their checking of applications for any possible fraud.

Reflecting on the first three weeks of the scheme, ASFA analysis suggests:

  • up to 95 per cent of applications have benefited from straight through processing and triggered only modest amounts of exception handling. Some funds have experienced slightly higher levels of exception handling. Recent reports of attempted fraud in regard to early release payments highlight the need for funds to investigate further if their processing systems raise a “red flag” in regard to an application
  • preliminary estimates indicate that close to 98 per cent of applications have been paid within five working days. In some cases it takes more than five days to resolve an application
  • a relatively small number of claims have been rejected by funds due to anomalies or concerns regarding evidence of fraud or potential fraud or because an account had been closed or an invalid bank account number was supplied. Some applicants have also withdrawn their application
  • ASFA estimates that the average withdrawal is around $8,000 as some applicants are withdrawing only what they need rather than the maximum amount of $10,000.

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.