APRA figures reveal extent of early superannuation release

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The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has published data related to benefits paid to members through the government’s COVID-19 temporary early release of superannuation scheme.

According to APRA’s data collection for the first week of the Early Release Initiative (ERI), there were 665,310 applications for early release with 162,879 applications processed.

So far members have been paid $1.3 billion, while the average benefit paid was $8002.

For applications paid in the first week of the scheme, trustees took an average of 1.6 days to make payments to eligible members after receipt of their applications from the ATO.

Given that the data relates to the first week of the early release initiative, trustees had no applications that were more than five business days old.

In total, 107 superannuation funds have made at least one early release payment.

Deputy chair of APRA Helen Rowell said that initial data showed that superannuation trustees were being quick to respond when members were in need.

“This new data collection enables APRA, government and other stakeholders to monitor the take-up of the new scheme, and ensure trustees are processing eligible applications in a timely manner,” Ms Rowell said.

“Although this publication only covers the first week of a scheme that will run for several months, the initial data indicates trustees are moving quickly to make payments after receiving determinations from the ATO.

“Under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, trustees are legally required to make early release payments to eligible members ‘as soon as practicable’.

“We expect trustees should generally be able to achieve this within five business days, however we recognise this may not be practicable in all cases, as trustees conduct fraud checks, and fulfil their legal obligation to look out for the best interests of all fund members. 

“APRA is closely monitoring trustee performance in this area and will consider taking appropriate action if evidence emerges of funds not releasing benefits to eligible members as soon as practicable,” Ms Rowell said.

Have you submitted a request for the early release of your superannuation? How long did it take for the request to be processed?

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Written by Ben


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